Bailey Smith’s name is on the award, but she knows she didn't get there on her own.
After winning the Synergy Fitness & Nutrition intercollegiate female athlete of the year award this week, the Ten Mile House sprinter took time during her victory speech to highlight some of those closest to her.
“Throughout all the hardships and triumphs, I have had lots of support from some very special people,” she said.
It included her parents, Darren and Kathy Smith, who she called her biggest cheerleaders; her brother, Spencer, who was the reason Smith joined track more than a decade ago, and her boyfriend, Jordan MacIsaac, who ensures she gets enough to eat and plenty of rest.
“Each of you have played a huge role in not only my success but also have been there with words of encouragement, open arms and a shoulder to cry on when I feel like giving up,” she said.
Smith also made sure to pay tribute to the coach she has had since she was 12, Colin MacAdam.
“I’m not sure how he has made it this long with me and I apologize for any grey hairs that I have caused him along the way,” she said.
“On a serious note, Colin, I have never met a coach who has been more dedicated and passionate to his sport. You volunteer all of your time and care for each of your athletes. There is no one I could ever trust more on my track journey. You have gotten me to where I needed to be with each season and got me to reach goals that I never thought possible.”
Smith also congratulated squash's Emma Jinks and wrestler Hannah Taylor for their great seasons. Both were finalists for the award.
Smith said she truly loves being able to represent Prince Edward Island as an athlete.
And when she pulls on those colours, she has made many people proud.
She won her third straight Atlantic University Sport (AUS) 60-metre crown in 2019, setting a conference record of 7.58, and was named the conference’s female track MVP for the second year in a row.
Smith finished second at the U Sports nationals in 7.49, seven one-hundredths of a second behind the leader.
“She performed at her best when it counted (the most), and that’s not always the easiest thing to do,” MacAdam said in the spring.
Smith was later named UPEI’s female athlete of the year after sharing the honour with rugby’s Alysha Corrigan in 2018.
Smith is taking aim at another AUS title this weekend. While her year has been a bit off by her standards, Smith said getting the Sport P.E.I. award has her in a good mindset heading into today’s competition hosted by UNB in Saint John, N.B.
Athletics P.E.I. also received the premier’s award as sport organization of the year.