Team GB Exclusive: Hill aiming to inspire and make history

Amber Hill is aiming to inspire future generations of talented shooters by winning gold at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio.

At the London Olympics in 2012, Peter Wilson was the lone shooting medallist coming away with gold in the men’s double trap – Britain’s first shooting medal since 2000.

Wilson has since retired and Hill is hoping to pick up the baton, encouraging young girls into a sport which wouldn't necessarily naturally appeal to them.

“The amount of girls in the sport is starting to pick up and is something I feel very strongly about,” said Hill.

“Currently, it is a male dominated sport but there is no reason why girls can’t get into the sport.

“It’s great that the sport is starting to get more recognised and publicity generally. It’s always been an aim of mine to inspire young people into shooting or any sport in general.

“Shooting has given me so much focus and dedication while allowing me to travel all over the world.”

Despite going into her first Olympics as an 18-year-old, Hill has racked up a list of achievements that would happily befit someone twice her age.

While most at her age will be completing their A-Levels, Hill will be representing Team GB and is not fazed by the prospect. Despite becoming the youngest Skeet World Cup gold medallist in history aged 15, she has never competed in Brazil but is currently out in Rio for a Test event and believes that will give her valuable experience ahead of the summer.

“The Olympics is a massive opportunity for me to get the experience of what it is like to be competing on the biggest stage,” she said.

“I have a certain standard that I expect of myself, whatever competition it is, I will always be going for gold.

“As long as I know that I have put in everything I possibly can then at the end of the day that is all I can do but I’ll be going all out for gold in Rio.

“I have got a World Cup event in Rio going on at the moment so I am out there for ten days and I will be able to get used to the environment, the shooting grounds and hopefully getting as much exposure to the surroundings that I can expect come the Olympics.”

Hill started the sport as a 10-year-old with the support of her grandfather Bill Rogers and now pays huge gratitude towards her coach Joe Neville – a British former sports shooter.

“Joe Neville has been amazing. We know what works for each other and how best to approach different challenges that we come across,” she added.

“2014 was a lot of training and changing my technique to make myself more consistent and overcoming the challenges together has filled me with confidence.

“Knowing he will be there for the Olympics fills me with instant belief.”

Hill followed in the footsteps of Andy Murray and Tom Daley by winning the Young Sports Personality in 2013 and believes shooting has come on leaps and bounds since when she started.

British shooting has set up a GB Academy pathway and the teenager is confident that will give some structure to the young people coming into the sport.

While the Berkshire-born athlete understands that heritage is important within the sport, she believes younger athletes should not be put off giving shooting a go.

“There’s definitely a lot of tradition in the sport which I think we need to keep,” she said.

“There are a lot of older people but I think that is very important because they can help to pass on their experience to younger people coming into the sport.

“The good thing about this sport is there isn’t an age limit and injuries aren’t a problem.

“We do need some more coaches though which would be really positive for us athletes to pass on their experiences and knowledge.

“These things are in the process of happening and as a sport we are definitely looking upwards.”

By Mathieu Wood

Sportsbeat 2016