European championships beckon for Ipswich gymnast

Halle Hilton, 18, is going to take part in the European Champinships

Halle Hilton, 18, is going to take part in the European Champinships - Credit: Mags Hilton

An 18-year-old gymnast from Ipswich who “never gives up” will represent her country at international level. 

Halle Hilton, 18, who attended her first gymnastics lesson when she was only two years old, is going to represent Ireland at the European Championships in Munich this month. 

Halle had a successful time as a junior gymnast, winning multiple national and international contests.

The Ipswich resident won team bronze at the Junior European Championships in 2018 and team bronze at the European Youth Olympics Games in 2019. She also made it to the beam finals in both competitions.   

Halle follows in her brother Keenan’s footsteps to join the Ireland team.

Halle Hilton, 18, is going to take part in the European Champinships

Halle Hilton, 18, is going to take part in the European Champinships - Credit: Mags Hilton

She said: “I've been in the Great Britain team since I was a little girl and then, just recently, I moved over to Ireland. 

“My mum is Irish, so I transferred over because there are a lot more opportunities for my gymnastics career. 

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“I got picked for the European Championships that are coming up next week. 

"I really hope to get back out on the big stage again, try to handle my nerves and just enjoy it.”  

To give the best performance possible, Halle trains five times a week for five to eight hours. 

Halle said: “Sometimes it gets hard, but I like to think that the hard days are the best days. To push through them makes it easier on the good days.” 

Halle said that her parents, friends and coaches are “a big part of her journey”. 

Halle Hilton and her mum Mags

Halle Hilton and her mum Mags - Credit: Mags Hilton

Mags Hilton, Halle’s mum, said: “Her dad Darren and myself are so very proud of Halle. 

“She has had a tough journey through gymnastics, with injuries, lockdown and relocating gyms. She’s been a tough cookie and she just keeps fighting back.” 

Halle said that her biggest dream is to perform at the Olympic Games in 2024. 

She said: “When I was small, I wanted to make it to the Olympics, and I’m now just doing what the little girl wanted.   

“I often say to myself: I haven't come this far to only come this far. I don't give up until I reach my dreams.”