Daniel Smart-Reed is amongst the select group of elite athletes beginning their university athletic career with UBC this year.
“It’s been interesting with everything being online. I don’t mind having to get up super early to get up super early to rush to classes, I can just roll out of bed. But it does suck that I don’t get a Frosh week or anything like that, that would be quite fun and [I’d] get to meet more people,” said Smart-Reed.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Smart-Reed will be throwing the javelin for the Thunderbirds men’s track and field team.
“UBC is one of the only schools that does track and field inside of Canada. And then also has a really good business program which I’m in and also I just really like the environment here,” said Smart-Reed.
An enthusiast for new adventures, Smart-Reed is currently living on the Vancouver campus, where he has learned an important lesson.
“I’m messier than I thought I was. At home, my mother keeps me clean and makes sure I clean my room and stuff. But now that I’m here, my room's a bit of a mess. And it’s a little bit of an effort to clean everything up,” he said.
Amongst his athletic goals here at UBC, he aims to place top 8 at the NAIA championships.
His career began back home, several years ago, but before that, he played baseball for several years, which he attributes his arm strength to, and ran cross country.
“I picked up the javelin first in Grade 10, and I threw it in gym, and my gym teacher told me that I was good enough to compete in it. So, I decided to … compete in Grade 10 and then in Grade 10, I got coach[ed] at UTTC (University of Toronto Track Club) and then in Grade 11, I switched to SISU Throws club, and that’s where I’m training now, but I’m at campus training with the team here, Smart-Reed said.
Looking forward to his season at UBC, Smart-Reed just hopes there to be a season.
“If we do have a season, my sport’s kind of one that’s easily done with social distancing, you can all just stand further apart and use different javelins,” he said.
Starting last week, the track and field athletes started their regular practices three times a week, but before that T-Birds were training on their own without coaches and equipment. Smart-Reed said he is starting to get to know his teammates and coaches.
“I’ve been in touch with most of my teammates, the ones that are on campus and are going to practice, we’ve been practicing together and I’ve been in touch with my coach, but we’re not really allowed to train with him yet ‘til this Monday, so now will be my first time training with him, but I have seen him around,” Smart-Reed said.
“I’m looking forward to being able to throw in meets that are official and hopefully get some personal bests.”