Breyton Poole is a talented athlete who will send chills through your spine when you watch him compete in his favourite event, High Jump. He has shown potential at a very young age, but now, aged sixteen, his potential has blossomed him into a world-class youth athlete. His astonishing 2.14m clearance at Western Province Athletics’ junior league meeting this past weekend got jaws dropping like no-one’s business.

“The plan was not to peak early, but it’s still the start and I have bigger things and heights to accomplish” said a chuffed Poole who recently hung up his rugby boots to focus on his high jump. Indeed a great sign for the sport as spikes are usually hung up, not the other way around. It seems like his mind is on the right track and if he continues to improve like he has over the years, his chances of bagging a World Youth Championship medal are high. “I just want to stay consistent and keep on hitting 2.14m/2.15m, but anything more than that I am satisfied with!” included the Paul Roos Gymnasium star high jumper.

His level of focus, hard work, commitment and passion for sport paid off when he was included in the national team selected to compete at the Region 5 Games late last year. It didn’t stop there though; he also represented Western Province rugby at the annual u/16 Grant Khomo week! He is tough, very competitive, a leader and a youngster who boast with the characteristics to become anything he wants to. “My ultimate goal is to become successful in what I do and to mentor other youngsters to become successful as well” he added. He already talks like the ‘perfect athlete’ and he is only sixteen…so where do all of these traits come from? “Well, I wouldn’t be anywhere today if it wasn’t for my parents. They are my rock foundation and I cannot thank them enough for what they mean to me” said an excited Breyton.

His 2.14m clearance puts him in contention for a South African Senior Championships title, a World Youth Championship medal and possibly the greatest year of his life. However, let’s not count the chickens before they hatch. He has dreams though: “The goal is Tokyo 2020! I still have three more years to improve and anything is possible, so we can only hope for the best”. With a mindset like that, anything is definitely possible! His heights in High Jump do the talking, but when asked about possible changes/solutions for the sport, he didn’t hesitate giving his opinion: “it would be nice to have more High Performance Centres (HPC) for athletes so that our youngsters could be nurtured and looked after well. I’d like to see more sponsors joining ASA in order for athletes to pursue athletics as careers. I remember being selected for the Region 5 Games, but I couldn’t attend due to a lack of funding…”

South African athletics is becoming a force to be reckoned with and with young, up-coming talents like Breyton Poole, things can only get better. He aimed for the stars and still fell amongst the clouds with that jaw-dropping 2.14m clearance! Watch out world, the higher the lat, the more competitive he gets…

Written by Reggie Hufkie