Kicking it old school
If you’ve ever questioned whether three really is a magic number, Airdrie-born Ashley Dixon is an extraordinary confirmation.
Dixon was wearing the number for the 2007/08 season when she defended the Mount Royal College Cougars soccer team to a gold victory in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and silver in the Canadian Colleges Athletics Association.
This season the Cougars women’s team brought home a bronze medal from the ACAC Championships just missing out on nationals.
Over the course of her three year career with the Cougars women’s soccer team, Dixon has earned the ACAC All-Canadian Athlete award, the CCAA’s Player of the Year award and the Cougars Female Athlete of the Year Award.
“I don’t like looking bad on the field, so I am almost competing with myself along with other people to be that tough,” Dixon said about her presence on the field. “If someone is better than me I love that because it always drives me harder to work hard to go that extra mile almost.”
Dixon comes by her skills honestly and not without modesty. Playing soccer since the age of five, Dixon said she was not always the star athlete that she is today and owes her current skills to the time she spent at Nick’s Soccer Academy. At the academy, run by professional soccer coach Nick Koev, Dixon trained on a rigorous five-day schedule.
“It’s not always about skill, it’s about knowing the field. It’s like seeing the field, leadership and taking a role on the team.” Dixon said.
The consistent work ethic that Dixon learned at the soccer academy has stuck with her, because although college outdoor soccer is out of season she still has a full schedule. Dixon currently spends her free time playing for the NSD Saints in the Calgary Women’s Soccer Association.
Dixon isn’t just a one-sport woman. She has been competing with the Cougars Badminton team since last year, and although it isn’t her strongest sport, she loves the personal challenge. Her coach Hayden Kowel said she is an extremely hard worker, a fairly quick learner, and has a positive attitude.
“She can adapt very well to all three events, and then of course in the doubles and mixed doubles she can adapt quite quickly to playing with different partners because often you are not playing with the same partner,” he said. “She has a great ability to adapt very quickly to the situation.”
Dixon knows it is difficult to become a professional soccer player in Canada, unless discovered in the early teens, so she is balancing her athletic career with a career in nursing. After working two years in a nursing home, Dixon has started a nursing degree at Mount Royal.
“I like seeing people smile, like Patch Adams,” Dixon said about why she chose nursing. “I have always wanted to do that so I thought I could help them a little bit while I’m on my way.”