Soaring to great heights

2014-03-25 00:00

Name: Chanel Stone

Age: 16

School: Kloof High School

Grade: 11

Sport: Athletics (High Jump)

Achievements: Honours (Athletics); Colours (Hockey)

TELL Chanel Stone she is in for the high jump and her heart sings with joy.

This is a young athlete who is using her incredible talent and long legs to raise the bar in her chosen sport as a high jumper to make a name for herself across the length and breadth of South Africa.

“Fortunate to be tall, I started competing seriously at high jump in 2008 and have just progressed from there,” said Stone. “Suddenly I was winning and through the years have collected quite a stash of medals and trophies.”

In athletic circles, Stone is known as “The Queen” and she is a popular drawcard at the events she attends.

With athletics not a major school sport, Stone is left to follow her own destiny in the sport, competing at national events where she continues to dominate.

He latest conquest was qualifying for the SA Schools competition in Limpopo at the end of the month, the SA Clubs event in Stellenbosch on April 3 and the SA Seniors Club event in Pretoria on April 11. She qualified for both with a leap of 1,76 metres at King’s Park.

“It’s great to qualify and be selected for various events, but the challenge is having to travel and get to everything under my own steam. I rely on my parents to take me everywhere and it’s costly and tiring for them,” she said.

The SA Schools competition in Limpopo is a case in point. “I’m giving that a miss as it’s just too much on my plate and I have already set the bar at school level,” she said. “There’s not too much for me to achieve at school level and I prefer to concentrate on the club and senior competitions.”

It’s a busy schedule for Stone who trains through the week and competes at weekends. For a youngster, she has put her athletics first and makes serious adjustments to accommodate her schoolwork and time when she can put her feet up and relax. “I train with my club for about two hours on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other days involve gym training and time with a biokineticist working on muscle tone,” said Stone.

“We train on grass which makes me work hard when it comes to jumping. In this way, I build up strength which works to my benefit when I compete on tartan, which is more springy.”

Having travelled around South Africa to compete, Stone has held gold at SA Government Schools, SA Christian Schools, SA Clubs and SA Leagues.

“My immediate goals are to qualify for the CAA African Southern Regionals at a venue still to be decided and from there, qualify for the Youth Olympics in China in August this year,” she said.

“The youth Olympics has two athletes from Africa in each event and I definitely want to be there in the high jump.”

This year is also the All Africa Games in Botswana and Stone can qualify for this, her first such games, at the junior and senior champs in April.

So confident is Stone of clearing the bar that at all competitions she only starts competing when the bar is set at 1,50 metres

“It gives me a mental advantage as I can sit out and relax while the other jumpers are competing. It allows me to tune in to what I need to do to focus on visualising my technique as the bar gets higher,” said Stone.

And that’s where she is going — higher and higher as she takes giant leaps in becoming South Africa’s next high jump hope in the years ahead.

“They say women high jumpers peak from about 28 to 30 years of age. I have a long time to go before reaching that level and every event, every jump will be worthwhile in the long run,” said Stone.


• Is a Sharks cheerleader.

• Follows the Proteas.

• Is also a model.

• Is up at 4 am most days to learn and do last-minute homework.

• Plays first team indoor and outdoor hockey.

• Not bad in the kitchen and makes a good Alfredo pasta.

• Enjoys baking.

• Sings in the shower.

• Sushi is a favourite meal.

• Favourite subjects are Business Studies and Maths.

• Was a gymnast and in 2008, qualified for the aerobic world champs in Germany. Was too young to attend.

• Enjoys action, drama and romance movies.

• Reads motivational books.

• Role model is Blanka Vlasic (Czech), the Olympic women’s high jump champion.

• Likes music and listens to what’s on the radio.

• Is inspired by quotes and writes them in a book — “Winners never quit, quiters never win.”


Be yourself and use your God-given talents to the best of your ability. You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.

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