Chasing Champs | Daniella Anglin’s balancing act
Herbert Morrison Technical High School’s Daniella Anglin’s jump clearing the 1.80m mark at last year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) to win the Class Two Girls high jump signalled to the nation and the world that she is one to watch in the event for years to come. Now out to prove that she is no ‘flash in the pan,’ Anglin is looking to replicate the feat in this year’s competition. However, she must overcome the challenges of focusing not only on her academics, but also athletics, and her time as a netballer for her school. In this question and answer session, Anglin spoke with David Salmon about how she balances her time.
Why did you start doing track and field?
I did not want to do tracks at all. I was a netballer and still am. Mr Grant, the tracks coach, saw something else and invited me to train for the high jump. Being myself, I did not take it seriously and I did not go. My former grade seven physical education teacher and my mom told me to go. I went and I did not stop.
Why did you specialise in your event?
I specialised in this event because it suits my body type and because it was the event I started first after going to tracks training.
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date, and how did you feel after achieving this feat?
Winning the Class Two girls high jump. I was shocked and happy because I made my mom, coach, friends, family, and myself proud. My hard work had paid off.
What would you consider your greatest challenge?
Managing netball and tracks training at once. Sometimes I would do netball training at lunchtime and tracks after school, which leaves me tired at the end of the day. But my main challenge would be completing all my assignments if they were missed (while competing). I still manage to complete them all, but it can get hard sometimes.
How did you overcome this challenge?
I spoke with my teachers and classmates. I asked them to send me the work that was given in my absence. I told myself that I wanted to do well at both sports and giving up is not an option.
What are the personal goals that you have set for this season?
To set a new personal record and to win in my second year in the Class Two girls high jump at Champs.
What subjects do you do in high school?
Biology, Mathematics, English Language, Information Technology, Food and Nutrition, Clothing, Fashion and Textile, Family Resource Management, and Physical Education.
What is your favourite subject and why?
Clothing, fashion and textile because my mom is a dressmaker and I enjoy sewing with her. Also, family resource management because it helps me to become a better person and it relates mostly with society.
What do you enjoy doing outside of training?
Playing church netball competitions, talking with friends, and reading Wattpad stories.
Which athlete do you consider your greatest inspiration?
Asafa Powell, Sashane Hanson, and Daniel Clarke, Veronica Campbell.
What qualities do you possess that best enable you to be successful?
I believe my determination and consistency helps me the most.
Who has supported you during this time and what is their impact on you?
My mother Avian Thompson and my coaches Mr Grant, Mr Ellis, my teammates and friends. They help me to believe in myself and motivate me when I need it the most.
How do you balance your athletic life and academic studies?
It is not hard and it’s not easy. Most time after a track meet, I try to get as much sleep as I can, but it does not work all the time. Most times I fall asleep in class because I have some sleepless nights to complete daily assignments. But my main routine is to reach home, shower and fall asleep, set my alarm for 3 a.m., and work from there till it is time to get ready for school. I think I balance them with a great measure. It might be hard sometimes to catch up where I left off, but I always get it done.
What advice do you have for other students who want to achieve your level of success?
Everything you want is achievable with discipline. If you want it, you have to work for it. If it becomes hard, remind yourself of what you are going for and what your purpose is.