VANCOUVER - Jim Dixon has officially taken the reins of the British Columbia Rugby Union and began his new role as Chief Executive Officer on Wednesday.
An administrator with over 12 years of experience in Sports Development and Professional Rugby Coaching, Dixon comes to the provincial sport organization via BC Adaptive Snow Sports where he held the role of Executive Director.
A graduate of the University of Otago in New Zealand, Dixon majored in Coaching and Sport Psychology and has since held administrative positions in Australia, Spain and England.
We sat down with the new CEO and this is what he had to say…
BC RUGBY: Favourite quote?
JIM DIXON: "That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger"
BC: Favourite movie?
JD: Tough call, either ‘The Usual Suspects’ or a great NZ film, ‘Boy’
BC: Favourite food?
JD: Thai or Vietnamese
BC: What's on your ipod?
JD: Quite a mix; Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Oasis, Elton John, Beastie Boys. I pretty much listen to anything.
BC: Favourite location in BC?
JD: I’m a big skier so anywhere where there’s a mountain... Whistler, Vernon, Sun Peaks, Mt Washington
BC: A sport you would watch other than rugby is…
JD: Downhill skiing, baseball
BC: When you're not working you are most likely...
JD: Training for an endurance race or eating!
BC: Greatest passion?
JD: Traveling to new places. Learning about different cultures and enjoying the company of the locals
BC: Most important lesson you ever learned?
JD: Communication and honesty are the key to successful partnerships/teams
BC: What draws you to rugby?
JD: I have played, coached and/or worked in rugby all my life. It’s in my blood and has provided me with numerous challenges and rewards. I admire the ethics and gamesmanship it represents, in that regard it succeeds where so many other sports fail.
BC: Outside of Canadian rugby, what team do you root for (Club, Country)?
JD: Easy, Otago and the All Blacks.
BC: Have you played rugby, if so for how long and what positions?
JD: I have played the game since the age of four until my late 20’s. Unfortunately shoulder and knee injuries ended my playing days, but that opened the door to coaching which I enjoy immensely. I played openside flanker in New Zealand, Ireland and the UK for various teams.
BC: As a coach, what's your favourite part about rugby?
JD: I enjoy seeing players develop and perform to their potential. Regardless of the level, I want players to enjoy themselves, play with a smile on their face.
BC: What made you want to be the CEO of BC Rugby?
JD: I have worked in rugby and sports administration for quite a few years now. Since moving to BC I have been impressed with the passion for the game and the tremendous volunteer network that supports the sport. I want to be a part of that process, provide leadership and advocacy for BC’s rugby community.
BC: What do you see as some of the strengths of rugby in British Columbia?
JD: We have a very passionate network of volunteers and an immensely talented group of players here in BC. We also have a great number of communities supporting rugby. Those alone are real strengths.
BC: What would you like to see added / changed to the sport in our province?
JD: There is always room for improvement and development, the challenge is determining what is viable and sustainable in the long term. I’m a very strong believer in supporting the people who support players, be they coaches, officials, medical personnel. If we can improve that support and boost the profile of the game it would be of great assistance.
BC: What new initiatives would you like to see taking place?
JD: We will have to wait and see on that one, new initiatives are typically determined by what we deem a priority strategically. I’m sure we will have an indication of what some of those initiatives will be in the not too distant future. Personally I would like to see more games shown live on TV or the web, the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League is a quality product and deserves a larger audience. We will see what can be done to improve BC Rugby’s profile.
BC: Anything you would like to add?
JD: I’m looking forward to working with all of BC Rugby’s current and potential stakeholders. Rugby is a fantastic sport that can open up so many opportunities both on and off the field.