Newtownabbey’s Danielle Hill, a member of Larne Swimming Club, recently competed in the Irish National Youth and Age Group Championships at the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin where she walked away with two gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the 13 to 14 years age group.
She also won the Top Girl Award - an impressive feat given she was competing against girls a year older.
The 13-year-old then headed to Sheffield to take part in the British Age Group Championships where she has won gold and bronze medals in her last two visits.
But in the 200m back crawl morning heat swim she finished 13th overall and didn’t make the evening final. Had she registered the same time in which she won the Irish title a week earlier at the Nationals, it would have been enough to take bronze.
In the 400 freestyle she finished 15th overall with a personal best, before taking 18th in the 200.
She went on to swim a personal best in the 100 back crawl heats, making the final taking almost a full second off her best time. But, for the third year in a row, she finished in fourth place, narrowly missing bronze.
To make matters worse, she was just 0:02 outside of the Ulster Junior record, which is for U16 girls and held by Commonwealth and double Olympian, Melanie Nocher. She set this record when she was 15-years-old, so a bright future lies ahead for Danielle.
Danielle and her parents would like to thank Newtownabbey Borough Council and The Mary Peters Trust for their continued financial support in helping her follow her dreams.