‘I hate losing’– the Norwich star with her sights set on Paralympic gold in Tokyo

PUBLISHED: 10:14 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 09 October 2019

Amy Conroy helping out at Sainsbury's, long-time sponsors of ParalympicsGB Picture: Stephen Wright

Amy Conroy helping out at Sainsbury's, long-time sponsors of ParalympicsGB Picture: Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright

She may have started out as one of her team’s more reserved characters, but British wheelchair basketball ace Amy Conroy is hoping her newfound aggression will help propel her to Paralympic gold in Tokyo next year.

Amy Conroy helping out at Sainsbury's, long-time sponsors of ParalympicsGB Picture: Stephen WrightAmy Conroy helping out at Sainsbury's, long-time sponsors of ParalympicsGB Picture: Stephen Wright

The Norwich-born star, a two-time Paralympian who was part of the side that narrowly missed out on bronze in Rio, admits she began her glittering career as a timid, introverted player who showed little emotion on court.

But the rapid assumption of the nickname 'Tiger' changed all that, unleashing a fresh streak of competitiveness that helped her and her team-mates win four consecutive European bronze medals and then silver at last year's World Championships.

And with an important year on the horizon, Conroy says she wants to harness that aggression to go one better and help her ParalympicsGB side clinch an historic gold in Tokyo.

"I used to have the nickname of 'Tiger', but I think I've shaken that off now," said the 26-year-old. "We used to have a coach who was quite intense, strict and loud, and when I came in, I was very shy, timid and self-conscious of my disability.

"I was quite smiley on court and not very aggressive, and then I started to be called 'Tiger' to get me more aggressive and competitive.

"And it worked - now I hate losing and go for every loose ball.

"We're just trying to be in the best shape we possibly can for Tokyo - be lean, be rapid, be strong, be fierce, be fast and just be quicker.

"I think a lot of what we need to do as well is to improve our confidence - it's just about believing in ourselves more.

You may also want to watch:

"We are training really hard and it's going to be an intense year - it's just about telling ourselves 'yeah, we're going to win' and believing in ourselves."

The prolific Conroy is someone who thrives off being on the big stage, helping herself to the most points of any player in the Great Britain side in three of their six games at London 2012.

Conroy also guided her country's Under-25 team to World Championship glory in Beijing in 2015 as co-captain, as well as forming an integral part of the first female GB senior squad to secure a place in the World Championship final last year.

Now she wants to use that momentum to achieve success not just in Tokyo, but also beyond.

"Winning gold at a Paralympics is the epitome of any professional athlete's career dreams - I personally wouldn't be happy with anything less than a gold," added an ambitious Conroy.

"I'm going to give it everything this year to give everything I can for the team.

"It's such an honour to represent Great Britain - every time you put on the jersey and feel the crowd, it's always a Goosebumps moment and I don't think that's ever going to get old.

"I absolutely love wheelchair basketball, and I'm just going to keep playing for as long as I keep enjoying it and as long as we keep doing well."

Sainsbury's is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury's commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury's commitment to inclusive sport visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News