Team GB Exclusive: Hill delighted to secure Rio spot
Exclusive

Team GB Exclusive: Hill delighted to secure Rio spot

10 November 2015 / 14:43

When Amber Hill boards the plane to Rio 2016 she can look back to the moment nine years ago on a cold and wet Sunday morning as being one that changed her life forever.

Tired of watching her brother play rugby she pleaded with her granddad to take her clay pigeon shooting and a few shots later she was hooked. 

Now 18, Hill can count British, European and World titles among her accomplishments – as well as a Young Sports Personality of the Year award in 2013.

And, after being named as one of six athletes selected to represent Team GB in Brazil next summer, she will soon be able to add ‘Olympian’ to her rapidly expanding résumé.

ShootingGB3200SB

“It has been my dream to get to Rio and I don’t think there is a greater honour than being named as an Olympian to represent your country. It means the world to me,” Hill said.

“I would love to think I could win a medal at some point in my career. When I go into any competition I will always be going for gold.

“But as long as I know I have put everything in to produce the best performance possible then I will be happy. As long as I am happy with how I performed then I can’t ask for a lot more.

“To come away with a medal would be the most amazing feeling. Knowing I have won a medal for my country would be so important to me.”

Hill’s talents in the sport were clear to see from an early age and the skeet shooter was selected for England’s senior side at the age of just 12.

At 15 she became the sport’s youngest winner of a World Cup and was awarded the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year later that year after rising to number one in the senior British rankings and five in the world.

The World Championships were added to the collection in 2014 and, although she had a disappointing Commonwealth Games, she was back to her best earlier this year winning the World Cup final as well as the inaugural European Games in Baku as part of Team GB.

Hill is coached by Joe Neville but still shoots regularly with granddad Bill Rogers – who himself has been shooting since the 1960s and once finished third in the US Open.

AmberHillBillRogers3200SB

“She came along with me and asked ‘can I have a go?’,” said Rogers. “I said ‘it will probably put you on your back Amber’ but she really wanted a go. Any way, we stood behind her and she fired the gun a few times and she said ‘I really want to do this’.

“I bought her a small gun when she nine, or nine by the age of ten she was taking part in little competitions. By the age of 12 she was in England’s senior women’s team.”

That pedigree might bring with it some pressures but Hill just wants to make sure she does herself and her country proud in Brazil.

She said: “It has been an amazing few years for me and has happened so quickly. Even now if I looked back on my career, I can be really proud of myself as I have done a lot in a short amount of time and hopefully it can continue.

“Being named as an Olympian is something I would love to tell my grandkids about when I am old and wrinkly.

“Just to be an Olympian and knowing I have represented my country – and hopefully made them proud – is more than anything I could have asked for.”

Sportsbeat 2015