David Hill

YST David Hill

Sport: Swimming, Triathlon

Twitter: @DavidHill_GB

How did you get into sport?

I was born with no left forearm but was brought up to believe there was no such word as can't. I grew up in Exmouth, a seaside town, and at the age of 3 my parents taught me to swim as they wanted me to be safe and competent in water. My sister enjoyed swimming & lifesaving and as I grew older, I became intrigued by her willingness to train; sibling competitiveness just took over. So, I went along to a training session with her, loved the social aspect of the club and was keen to progress up the lanes to become the best that I could be.

What are your three biggest achievements in sport?

  • Competed in 2 Paralympics in 2 different sports; Swimming & Triathlon
  • World & European Medallist and British Champion
  • ParalympicGB's Youngest Athlete at the Athens 2004 Paralympics and Top 10 Finisher in the Rio de Janerio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Who was your inspiration growing up and why?

My inspiration was my swimming coach, Robin Brew, who took me to my first Paralympic Games. Brew is an Olympic Athlete himself and was a world champion within swimming and triathlon, too. Brew sowed the seed in my mind at a young age that swimmers make good triathletes.

When and why did you get involved with the Athlete Mentor programme?

I have been involved as an athlete mentor since 2012. It’s really rewarding to use my experiences in elite sport to transform the lives of young people; helping them to lead more positive lives and make good choices. The YST Athlete Mentor team are a hugely-inspiring group of athletes who motivate me every day to go out and pass on that knowledge and wisdom to everyone I meet. Participating in sport is where I have got all my confidence, people skills, resilience and empathy and these are skills that are really rewarding to unlock in others. 

What has been your favourite moment as a YST Athlete Mentor?

My best memory of being an Athlete Mentor was the opportunity to mentor other athletes who had qualified for the UK School Games in 2018. It felt great to put all my experiences of ‘trying to get it right when it matters’ to try and help the next generation.