Alicia Dixon has been one of flag football’s star performers since the sport was introduced in Cayman in 2009.
Despite problems with her knee, which needed anterior cruciate ligament surgery three years ago, Dixon remains one of the outstanding receivers.
A huge smile on her face as she whizzes past and in between frustrated opponents, is a regular sight.
“It’s been a great six years despite when I was injured for 18 months and not being able to participate,” Dixon said.
“Right now I’m doing a lot better although I have minor injuries. Recently I’ve been going to Regenexx Cayman for treatments. They’ve been doing an incredible job so I’ll continue going there until I’m 100 percent.”
Flag every Saturday afternoon has become a welcome fixture at the Ed Bush stadium in West Bay throughout the summer for Dixon.
“This sport not only allows me to meet new people. I’ve learned sportsmanship and other key principles that I have used in my personal and professional life. Plus, I get to exercise for an hour and have fun.”
This season she plays for HSM, headed by coaches Brendon Malice and Andrew Frederick, “and couldn’t be happier being under their guidance.” The coaches brought two teams together with individual talents and personalities and managed to make them one unified team with a great cohesiveness, and HSM are one of the top sides.
“We’re doing extremely well and I’m proud of our accomplishments so far this season,” Dixon said. “[As long as] we maintain our passion, hunger and most importantly, our humility, the sky’s the limit.”
Dixon is impressed how fast the women’s league has grown and how evenly the talent is spread among the teams, which makes it extremely competitive.
The only drawback, she said, is the better players feel they are limited to realizing their potential because the league here is comparatively small.
Being a part of the women’s national side that travels to compete, the level to which teams are playing overseas is faster than Cayman’s. “However, in time I do feel we’ll get there.”
International games are tough, “because of the speed they play at,” she emphasized. “Talent is not something we lack at all. Only the exposure, speed and chemistry as those teams play together all year round. If we stick together we will be a bigger threat.”
An all-rounder, Dixon also loves netball, softball, road runs and participating in quirky events like kickball.
Her mother is amazed with her sporty daughter. “She says, ‘I don’t know where you get this athletic streak from.’ I’ve loved sports from a young age and haven’t stopped. I’ve limited the amount of sports I take on at once, but football has my heart.”
There is no slowing down for the 30-year-old Caymanian. Sport is a welcome outlet from her working life with State Street as an international financial statistics manager.
Dixon would love to see the already hectic sporting scene expand.
“Cayman has so many talented athletes who do not get the recognition they deserve,” she said. “It would be nice having the country support these talents and encourage their growth.”
Her next big event is with the flag national team in Orlando in January to compete in the United States Flag and Touch League. “I’m really looking forward to this one because we’ve grown so much individually as well as a team.
“If we win, not only does it put Cayman on the map as we are the only team from the Caribbean to participate, but we win the United States national title.
“I would like to see the women’s national team take home the trophy. We’re so close I can taste it.”
If Dixon could be a world or Olympic champion in one event, she would choose being a track sprinter.
“I grew up loving to run and trained for track when I was in high school. Running gives me life and a sense of calm.”
Dixon attributes much of her love of sport to the late netball technical director Jean Pierre, “who taught me more that just netball.”
She adds, “To Jean, it wasn’t just a sport, it was a lifestyle. From the way we carried ourselves off the court to playing for the next person, your teammate. I learned principles for life.”
Her boyfriend is Darrel “DJ” Evans, one of Cayman’s best triathletes.
Dixon is not into the triathlon scene, but draws energy from Evans “as a great motivator and my inspiration, so who knows where the future will take me?”
At times they do strength training together and recently Dixon has been enjoying a weekly conditioning training session with her teammate Jennifer Choice.
Is there something in training that Dixon is better at than Evans? “I’d have to say squats,” she laughs. “But he’s definitely showing me the ropes. DJ has come a long way with his training and I’m basically at the start of mine.
“I’ve watched him cross many barriers and overcome obstacles. I’m honored to have witnessed his accomplishments first hand and look forward to seeing him excel to greater heights. I’m a proud girlfriend.”