May 25 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Judo sensation Hayley Willis has spoken of her hopes of competing in the Olympics after finishing third in European championships.
The 15-year-old of Romsey Road, Dagenham, is also predicted to earn top grades in her GCSEs next year.
The Jo Richardson student put her burgeoning success down to dedication and strong support from her family.
She said: “It’s a great challenge. You always try to keep on top of everything and improve.
“It is hard, but when you get the results it’s so worth it in the end.
“I’m doing really well at school, I’m predicted to get mostly As and Bs. In the long term, I would like to have a career in sport and I’m hoping to compete in the Olympics in 2016.”
Hayley has travelled the world having taken gold at an international tournament in Germany last year, finished fifth in the junior world championships in Morocco in October and took bronze at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey last month.
The brown belt trains up to 20 hours a week, including five 90-minute sessions at east London judo clubs in Stratford and Redbridge.
Her gruelling training regime also features daily fitness sessions in the gym at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Cooks Road, Dagenham.
The young athlete is grateful to her parents for helping her juggle studies with the martial art by taking her to competitions in Sheffield, France and Holland.
Her dad Paul, 45, said: “I am very happy for her. She has put so much into it in terms of training and dedication. The amazing thing is she is reaching the top in sport but it has not affected her school work.”
This article features as part of the Post campaign Choose Your Future.
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