Year 12 student and rising hockey star Grace Dixon is enjoying being a part of the Flinders Elite Athlete Program (FEAP), which launched in January 2021.
With other passionate young athletes at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Grace is learning skills to support her sporting career, further study and general wellbeing, including organisation, goal setting, nutrition, building support networks and a healthy mindset. We asked Grace to share more about her achievements, goals and favourite FEAP moments.
Note from Flinders Elite Athlete Program Director, Ms Laure Nourse:
“Grace is a driven student who has clear goals she is working towards in her hockey aspirations as well as her career and university plans. She works hard and it’s wonderful to see her reach many of her sporting goals this year, including representing Queensland and winning Gold at the recent 2022 Australian Under 18 Hockey Championships held in Cairns. Grace has embraced life as a Flinders student, committing to a number of sports including hockey and the girls Firsts soccer team as well as leading by example at the recent College cross country event. She is a talented athlete who is a pleasure to work with and I know many of our younger students look up to and aspire to be like Grace.”
Please tell us about your sporting achievements.
Grace: "I have represented my region in 14 Queensland hockey state championships. I have also represented Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast school sport in multiple Queensland schoolgirls championships. I have also represented Queensland in u15s and u18s teams. This year I was privileged to be able to play in both the Brisbane Women’s Division 1 and Sunshine Coast Division 1 competitions. I was also selected in the Queensland u18s girls GOLD team who travelled to Cairns in April and won the U18s national championships while also being the only Queensland team to be undefeated throughout the championships. From there I was one of 38 girls selected in the Australia Futures Squad which is a stepping stone for future Australia teams."
What are your sporting goals for 2022 and beyond?
"My sporting goal for the next couple of years is to represent Australia in hockey, whether that be in a domestic or international series or potentially in future Commonwealth Games or Olympics events. I also want to be an ambassador for younger players to help motivate them to play hockey. I know that when I was younger I loved going to watch Division 1 games and I would have loved the chance to learn from more experienced hockey players and develop my skills as a junior."
What are your academic goals at Flinders?
"I am in Year 12 at Matthew Flinders Anglican College and my main goal is to do my absolute best for my final year of schooling while trying to balance other commitments, such as sport, work and a social life. I also would like to achieve an ATAR score above 90 in order to open a variety of doors when it comes to courses at university."
What do you enjoy about the Flinders Elite Athlete Program?
"I am enjoying working with FEAP Director, Ms Lauren Nourse and attending the workshops that are offered as a part of FEAP. Talking and listening to current professional athletes is also very interesting as I can relate to most of the issues they faced during their schooling journey."
What new skills and strategies are you learning?
"I am learning more about developing good mental health to deal with the stress of high pressure moments."
Do you have a favourite FEAP workshop so far?
"I enjoyed the workshop with local radio host and swimmer Ash Gierke. She was very interesting to listen to when she spoke about how the media can manipulate your words or body language to make up a story. It was very eye-opening."
What else have you enjoyed about FEAP?
"I enjoy hearing about all the other achievements made by other members of the FEAP. There are some amazing sportsmen and sportswomen at Flinders and it is interesting to hear about all their achievements. It is great to be able to have the opportunity to spend time with like-minded people who strive for excellence."
Tell us about your role models.
"My sporting role model is Shayna Jack. Although she is not a hockey player, she has faced great challenges and adversity in her sporting career and I admire how she has overcome them. The courage, strength and determination that she has shown over the past few years is something that only certain people have and it is truly amazing how she remained strong and endured the backlash."
To learn more about the Flinders Elite Athlete Program and how to apply, please visit here.