Team MB Canada Games 2011: Chantelle Horel

Team Manitoba’s Chantelle Horel is an athlete who really knows how to Go For It. She is one of very few athletes who will be competing in two events at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

Team Manitoba’s Chantelle Horel is an athlete who really knows how to Go For It. She is one of very few athletes who will be competing in two events at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. During the first week, she will be joining the wheelchair basketball team on the court of Citadel High School. In Week 2, she will be hitting the trails of Ski Martock for para-nordic skiing.

Chantelle was born with a form of cerebral palsy known as spastic dysplasia. Despite some of the challenges it has posed to her athletic career, she has never let it get in the way of her goals and aspirations. “I was always that kid who wanted to play able-bodied sports with all her friends. I’ve overcome a lot of barriers with sport. Going through junior high, being told I couldn’t do certain things because of the fear that I would get hurt. I’ve really fought through that and didn’t really let anyone tell me I couldn’t do it – I did it regardless,” says Chantelle.

She was introduced to wheelchair basketball in her first year at the University of Winnipeg. Bill Johnson, professor of an adapted physical activity class and wheelchair basketball coach, asked her to come to a practice with his team. She showed a natural talent for the sport and picked it up very quickly. “After a few practices, they were telling me they were going to take me to Whitehorse to compete with the provincial team at the Canada Games,” recalls Chantelle.

Since then, wheelchair basketball has become a passion for Chantelle. It has allowed her to make a name for herself in the sport community and to Keep It Fun while traveling the globe. “I’m a sucker for basketball. I’ve played in Germany with the women’s junior program and I was given the opportunity to go to Japan with the women’s senior team. Lately, I’ve been to Vancouver, New Orleans and Alabama.”

Currently, Chantelle is also pursuing a new adventure – para-nordic skiing. She has been finding it difficult to balance her demanding schedule, but is more interested in helping to build the program in her province than winning a gold medal.  “I’ve always been that person who wants to try absolutely everything, whether it’s able-body sports or a new adapted sport. So, why not take this opportunity? I’m willing to put in the effort.”

If her athletic and academic pursuits weren’t enough, she also finds the time to Give Back to her community. “I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with kids with disabilities. This will be my third summer in a row working for the Society of Manitobans with Disabilities as a summer access worker.” 

True Sport congratulates Chantelle on her passion for good sport, and wishes her the best of luck at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and in the future.