By Neto Baptiste
Amongst other personal goals like being competitive and helping her school, the University of Florida win a national championship in 2022, gymnast Alexandria Magee is hoping to make a meaningful contribution to the sport here in Antigua and Barbuda, the birth country of her mother Dr. Tricia Phillip-Magee.
As a matter of a fact, the 18-year-old athlete who joined the Gators Gymnastics earlier this year as a sophomore has already started, visiting and donating equipment to the country’s lone gym on a recent to Antigua.
“I just want to compete this year, I want to help my teammates win a national championship so those are my goals for this year. Overall I just want to help, especially in Antigua because gymnastics is not a known [in Antigua] so I want to go there and help the girls and get as many people into it as possible because it has helped my life and changed my life so much. I actually went to Antigua Elite Gymnastics Academy last week and talked to the younger gymnasts and just show them that they can do anything and no challenge is too hard for them,” she said.
Alexandria, who is also the daughter of investment banker Michael Magee from the USA, is hoping that on return to Antigua later next year, she could take a more hands on approach where interacting with the country’s young and aspiring gymnasts is concerned.
“I am actually coming back in June and hopefully we will be able to have a camp then and get as many girls as we can to come because I think it is very important that we are able to open this new door for young girls because there is no reason why they shouldn’t have gymnastics there or feel like we can’t do gymnastics here,” the athlete said.
Alexandria, who got into the sport at the tender age of three, said that for now, she is just enjoying having accomplished one of her many goals, becoming a part of the Gator Gymnastics team at the University of Florida.
“I think that’s my biggest accomplishment so far, what I am doing right now, and ever since I was six years old I’ve always wanted to come here [University of Florida] and compete on the gymnastics team and as time went on it seemed like a goal that drifted further and further but I kept pushing. I knew I had to do well in school because it’s not an easy school to get into do I did very well in school and then I just perfected my craft and I still am in terms of gymnastics and trying to get better each day. I just put my faith in God and now I am living my dream,” she said.
Alexandria is the granddaughter of Alphaeus and Patricia Phillip. Alphaeus hails from Pigotts village while Patricia was born in Gray Hill but raised in Cassada Gardens.
The athlete, who graduated from the Jones High School in Orlando, Florida with a 5.0 grade point average last year, is currently studying journalism, specializing in sports and media.