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Spotlights

Baneet Bains: Can’t Steeple-Chase Her

By Harjan Padda, 21 Nov, 2019

    After winning three gold medals at the 2018 Fraser Valley Track and Field championships, she competed for Canada at the 2019 Pan-American U20 Championships.

    Baneet Bains is one of the best and brightest young distance runners in the country. After winning three gold medals at the 2018 Fraser Valley Track and Field championships, she competed for Canada at the 2019 Pan-American U20 Championships. Bains started running competitively in grade seven. From there she joined Universal Athletics club before shifting to Coastal Track in grade 10 to focus on distance running. It was at Coastal that she was introduced to steeplechase by her coach Scott Kent. Her interest in steeplechase grew but her toughest obstacle was getting over the water pit jump. After a lot of hard work and mental effort, Bains was able to grow her confidence and land over the pit. This led to her making the national team in grade 11.

    Bains ran in the 2000 metres steeplechase at provincials, and then went on to compete in the 3000 metres at the U20 Pan-Am games in Costa Rica. It was an under-20 team, so she was one of the youngest people there. The older athletes were very kind and influential, not just with the games but also giving sage advice for school as well. Bains recalls how “the entire trip was amazing, I will never forget it. My family came too so it was pretty awesome to have that support.” This experience had Bains feeling a great deal of pride and excitement for it. She also came out of this event with a strengthened commitment to the sport as she progressed in her career.

    Talking about her passion for athletics, Bains mentions that following her sister and trying to keep up with the older sibling helped build her stamina. She also recognized her role in other sports, especially soccer, contributing to her athletic ability. Additionally, her parents were very influential and encouraged their daughters to participate in sports. Bains is very grateful for all that her family has done to encourage her on.

    The gold-medalist received a scholarship to the University of San Francisco where she competes in cross-country and track. She has a great deal of respect for her coaches. The city of San Francisco itself has also had a profound effect on Bains. She describes it as a great place to explore with a lot of fun trails and runs for her to do as well. Sharing some insight on her training, Bains explains “it definitely makes a difference to combine the learning I received earlier in my career and what I am getting now to really add to my game.”

    This scholarship also means entering the world of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The international season in summer delayed her preparation for NCAA so Bains will be redshirting the cross-country season this year. The NCAA is highly competitive and requires rigorous training regiments for athletes. Bains has already seen the big step up from high school to collegiate competition and is ready for the road ahead.

    As a student, Bains is pursuing a major in psychology and minor in sociology. Her dream for now is to obtain a master’s degree in counselling and become a high school counsellor. However, this earlier in her degree, she knows anything can happen and is prepared to take on any challenges on her way to completing her education.

    This season, the young athlete’s goal is to cut down her steeplechase time by working on technique and endurance. She also wants to make the World Juniors this year and place in the top two for all of Canada in 3000 metres steeplechase. Right now, Bains knows she has to “take it one week at a time and build up to these major goals. I have a lot of faith in my coaches and myself to go out there and continuously get better.”

    She wants to instill these values of hard work and accomplishments in sport in the South Asian community. Bains can be a major influence and role model for South Asian girls in sports as someone to look up to and believe that they can achieve great things in the world of sports. “I want to give them passion and confidence that they can accomplish anything in sport if they put their work into it.” Bains is an elite athlete with a sharp mind; she is definitely one to watch as she makes waves in the world of sport.

     

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