MORE THAN FASHION
ASOS MEETS PARALYMPICSGB!
By Steven Potter, 17 August 2021
We enlisted three of the team - Amy Conroy, Ashley Facey-Thompson and Tom Hamer - to chat through their extra-ordinary training routines, some extra-special career highlights and what being extra means to them. Keep scrollin’ for the deets, plus our extra-themed shoot, where you’ll get a sneak-peak of some of the ceremonywear, and winning ASOS DESIGN ‘fits.
Amy Conroy, wheelchair basketball
Tell us about your basketball career
I’m currently world and European silver medallist. I’ve been an under-25 world champion and I’ve been in the Great Britain team for the last 10 years, oh, and I’m an amputee!
What’s the biggest difference between playing for club and country?
Literally the biggest difference is when you play internationally it’s an all-female team, whereas in the league, it’s mixed, and we play with the men too. They will tell you how it is, which is great, and they certainly don’t take it easy on you!
What’s it like representing ParalympicsGB?
Every time I put on the GB jersey, I always get the butterflies. When you have your family up in the crowd and you can see all the GB flags waving, the national anthem is playing, it definitely all builds into a big, massive thing. There’s more nerves and excitement, then comes the feeling of ‘this is why I train, this is the moment’. It feels extra special.
Talk us through your style
I just try a bit of everything, I’ll go from big basketball shorts and a muddy face one minute, to little fancy dresses the next. Oh, and I finally got a prosthetic leg that I can wear heels with!
What does ‘extra’ mean to you?
If you’ve got a dream or a goal, have confidence in yourself and don’t listen to the what-ifs, the doubts and don’t let the insecurities hold you back. My favourite quote is ‘be fearless in pursuit of the thing that sets your soul on fire.’
Ashley-Facey Thompson, table tennis
How long have you been playing table tennis for?
I’ve been playing for 12 years now. I’ve been to Rio in 2016 for the Paralympic games and I’ve won two major European medals. And of course, I’m hoping to score big in Tokyo 2020… plus one!
Can you pinpoint a moment when you knew table tennis had got serious?
I think in 2009 when I was selected for the Romanian Open. Honestly, I never thought that would happen, so I was literally jumping for joy. I got there and was humbled very quickly though. There were some seriously good athletes!
What’s been the biggest moment in your sporting career so far?
The obvious one would be going to the Paralympics, but another one would be winning my first major medal with my teammate Kim Daybell. We’ve come up short so many times – like five or six. If I hadn’t had won, it would have been one of those things that would have stuck with me.
How would you define ‘extra?’
When you’re young you feel a lot of pressure - you know that if you don’t train super hard and play perfectly, it could all be over. But being extra to me now means finding the balance and I have that, inside and outside of my sport.
Thomas Hamer, swimming
How did you get into swimming?
I started swimming competitively when I was nine (big up Burnley Bobcats) and I joined the Paralympic team when I was 14. Swimming has always been something that I’ve loved. I feel like I’m home when I swim, like I’m in my own space, my own bubble.
You’ve broken two world records (S14 200m Freestyle and S14 Mixed 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay), what does that feel like?
It’s one of those things you just can’t get your head around. It was the setting that meant more to me – it was on a massive world stage in front of tens of thousands of people, that felt amazing. Prince Charles presented me with my medal as well!
What’s your training routine like?
I train 10 times a week in the pool and nine-10 times a week in the gym. Then we compete in smaller races to get practise in for the major competitions. We’ve just started our serious eating regime in prep for the games, I’ve got 10 weeks to get absolutely shredded – it’s a shame the shoot wasn’t two weeks before the games, I’d be so ready for it! 😉
What kind of ‘fits are you into?
I’m all about country vibes. Normally I’m most comfortable in a check shirt with a gilet over the top, some blue jeans and Chelsea boots. But I’m up for trying new things, for sure. I just like finer things in life!
What does ‘being extra’ mean to you?
My version of being extra is not following the crowd. Be you and don’t be anyone else.