BMX star rides way to top

South Western Times - - SPORT - BMX LIN­COLN BERTELLI

BMX star Rachelle Smith be­lieves her hard work is pay­ing off af­ter she was named Sports Star of the Year by the South West Acad­emy of Sport.

The 18-year-old was an­nounced as the re­gion’s best at a gala din­ner on Fri­day and also added a sec­ond straight fe­male in­di­vid­ual ath­lete of the year tro­phy to a grow­ing cab­i­net.

“It was a really great feel­ing, es­pe­cially be­ing up against such tal­ented ath­letes in the South West re­gion,” she said.

“I was a bit shocked but also re­lieved. I’ve had a good year and it was nice to fin­ish off my sea­son with this award.”

Smith also claimed the 2013 and 2014 Myles Ju­nior Sports Star of the Year awards and is proud to have won South West hon­ours with such reg­u­lar­ity.

“Ev­ery­one I’m up against is a strong con­tender so to be win­ning con­sis­tently shows my hard work is pay­ing off,” she said.

“It’s great to win know­ing it’s based on your re­sults, per­son­al­ity and how you’re help­ing the com­mu­nity.”

Smith said the high­lights of the sea­son were be­ing the first Aus­tralian qual­i­fier for the na­tion­als and her se­lec­tion as Aus­tralia’s only ju­nior woman in the world cham­pi­onships – but it has not all been smooth go­ing.

She broke her shoul­der dur­ing prac­tice for the na­tion­als while poor weather dur­ing the world cham­pi­onships meant a change in the race struc­ture and a sud­den­death semi-fi­nal ride, where she just missed out on qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Smith has also taken on a role as SWAS am­bas­sador, men­tor­ing younger ath­letes, and is al­ready train­ing for the 2016 sea­son.

She will race in the elite women’s cat­e­gory now she is 18.

“I’ll be rac­ing the na­tional se­ries and I’m hop­ing to make ev­ery na­tional fi­nal,” she said.

“I also want to race on the world cir­cuit in Amer­ica as well.”

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