11:59AM, Monday 26 April 2021
Shooting star Amber Hill says she won't shy away from using social media for a positive purpose in the absence of British fans at Tokyo 2020.
Overseas spectators will not be permitted to travel to Japan and Team GB athletes are confronting the prospect of a Games without family and friends.
Hill, who is ranked No.1 in the world in the skeet shotgun discipline, wants the nation's armchair faithful to make themselves heard on social media this summer.
"I make sure to look at the nice comments people send me when I'm competing, it's important to me," said the former Claires Court School student, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo.
"I know some people are a little bit scared to use their social media around big events, but I don't shut it off.
"I accept there is going to be negativity out there, you can't control everybody, but you want to focus on people who want to send you a positive message and give you support. Even though we're not going to be able to have my family and friends in Tokyo, knowing they're supporting me at home is so important."
Hill is a dedicated follower of fashion, keeping her Instagram followers updated with her latest looks and checking Depop daily for clothing bargains.
The 23-year-old from Windsor has sprayed her gun blue for competitions and used pink cartridges, making her stand out from the crowd on the shooting range.
Hill takes inspiration from fellow Olympic athletes like Dina Asher-Smith - who wears eye shadow when she competes - and feels it is a form of self-expression that enhances her sporting performances.
"I've always been really creative - my hair, my nails, just general wellbeing really and expressing myself," she said. "I've tried to incorporate two loves of mine - shooting and fashion - and bring a bit of colour in the sport. Dina always looks amazing. She's a massive inspiration to women in sport, and shows you can have a glamorous side and still be determined and focused on what you do on the track or tHe range. If I feel good and I feel confident, I normally perform well. Taking the time to put some make-up on and take care of myself always shows up in my performance."
There was plenty of colour on display when Hill presented long-time coach Joe Neville with a stunning artwork as recognition of his role in her many sporting achievements.
Hill presented Joe, 73, with a copy of former professional triathlete Vanessa Raw's unique painting - part of Purplebricks’ Home Support campaign to rally support for Team GB at the Games.
"I know the support Joe will be giving me from home so it was really special to be able to give him something to recognise that," she said.
"It's a massive thank you for his role in my journey and he was the first and only person I thought of giving one of these paintings to.
"It's brilliant to know he will be part of being behind Team GB despite not being able to be with me in Tokyo and a celebration of what the Games will be."
W Amber Hill is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo, with the same amazing home support as London 2012. Visit @PurplebricksUK. To enter the draw to receive one of 2,020 limited edition prints, visit https://page.purplebricks
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