Self portrait of James Dixon
Wednesday 1st February 2011
James Dixon, now aged 25, is a deaf cricketer who plays in the Liverpool Competition, formerly with Southport and Birkdale CC and now Bootle CC. The following gives a personal insight into how he has adapted to playing cricket with his hearing peers.
James takes over from here:
• I started playing cricket at the age of seven, through my family.
• I aspire to be the next Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff, Glenn McGrath or Jimmy Anderson.
• Whilst playing cricket there have been a few challenges that I have had to overcome. Communication between me and my hearing team mates has been a challenge and we have addressed this with the use of lip reading, body language and chatting via type up on mobile phones for team work (in the field, out the field and in the changing room). We also use these techniques when socialising.
• Running between the wickets with a batting partner was also a challenge and we use hand signals for go or stop.
• University of Central Lancashire Sports helps to support me by improving my performance and fitness, strengthening and conditioning levels through the use of high quality gym suites. The University have also helped to fund my travel expenses and accommodation when I play for the England Deaf Cricket Elite Squad.
• Through playing cricket I have improved self confidence, I have fun and enjoy myself whilst playing, I have made new friends and enjoy socialising with them.
• If I could advise other disabled athletes it would be to be yourself, don't be shy to meet hearing people in sport because of your disability. Be brave and don't lack in confidence. Taking part in sports at University can be fun, can help you make new friends and have a great social nights with them.
• Played for England Deaf Cricket Elite Squad since 2005;
• Awarded Sefton Sports Achievement Award for Disabled Sports Personality of the Year 2006;
• Awarded the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11;
• Awarded the University of Central Lancashire Cricket Club's 1st Team Player of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010;
• Won the ECB National T20's LDCC League Final, Northern Regional Final, and North West Area Final with Bootle Cricket Club 1st team in 2010;
• Played in the ECB National T20's 2010 Semi Final at the Rose Bowl, Hampshire with Bootle CC 1st team;
• Awarded the Preston Sports Awards' Sports Personality for Disability of the Year 2011 - for the Deaf Ashes Tour 2011 in Australia with England Deaf Cricket team;
• Awarded the University of Central Lancashire's Student Union Sports Award for Sports Personality of the Year 2011 for the University Athlete with a disability;
• Picked to carry the 2012 Olympic Torch between Kendall and Blackpool.