20×20 Questions with Sophie Earley
1. What’s your first memory of sport as a child?
I can remember being a very sport girl and enjoyed any sport that I did.
2. How did you first become involved in sport?
I think my brothers were the main reason I got involved in sport. I would see them playing any sport and immediately that would make me want to play.
3. What sports did you try as a child?
When I was around the age of four or five I enjoyed playing football and gymnastics, but when I was six I started playing table tennis.
4. What decided you to settle on your chosen sport?
I chose table tennis because I enjoyed it the most and because it was on the same day as gymnastics, so I had to choose one to play on a Saturday.
5. Who has had the most impact on your sporting career?
My brothers definitely have had a huge impact on my career as they help me with various things in my game and give me immense support.
6. What female do you most admire in the world of sport?
My favourite female sports star is Gabby Douglas who is an American gymnast
7. Outside of sport what do you do in your leisure time?
I enjoy watching movies in my spare time and going out with my brothers into town.
8. What is the last movie you went to see? What is your favourite movie of all time?
The last movie I went to see was Toy Story 4 and my favourite movie of all time is Pitch Perfect.
9. What music do you listen to?
I listen to anything that seems to be popular, but my favourite artist is Hailee Steinfeld.
10. Are you a reading fan? If so what are you currently reading?
I do enjoy reading and I am currently reading ‘It only happens in the movies’.
11. Do you follow any sports stars on social media? If so who?
I follow Nile Wilson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Tom Daley and Gabby Douglas on Instagram.
12. Forget about your sporting diet for a moment? Your favourite meal when you breakout?
My favourite food outside of my sporting diet would be pizza.
13. Who do you most admire in your own sport?
I admire Swedish player Truls Moregard most in my sport.
14. Do you have a special ritual before competing?
I would say that in some matches I would foam roll and others I would listen to music and warm up.
15. Do you still play other sports for fun?
Unfortunately, I can’t risk getting injured, so I don’t play other sports.
16. What advice would you give to young girls & boys to encourage them to participate in sport?
I would say that they will gain a lot of life skills and will make plenty of friends. Sport will also give youngsters a lot of confidence and will build their self-esteem.
17. What has been your biggest sporting achievement?
My biggest sporting achievement would be defeating the European Under 15 number 1, Elena Zaharia, and the number 2, Vlada Voroning.
18. How do you cope with (a) injuries; (b) other setbacks?
For injuries, I would attend regular physio sessions and would try rest as much as possible. Resistance bands are good for injuries involving your arm or shoulder. For other setbacks, it makes me even more determined to improve from there.
19. What do your family make of your success?
My family are extremely proud of what I achieved and hope I will continue to improve and achieve big results. My mum and dad flew over to Poland when I was playing the World Cadet Challenge and they witnessed me taking out the European number 1 and 2. Before that my dad had never seen me play abroad so it’s nice he got to see that.
20. What does sport mean to you?
I believe that participating in sport is a great way to escape the stress of school or work and make friends along the way. I feel so lively and energetic when I am playing it. The release of adrenaline and the sense of achievement you get when you reach a goal is what motivates you to keep going and so even better. The amount of life skills I have learnt through my career is crazy. Having the sense of leadership in a team, time management, handing pressure, being able to learn from a setback and respect are very important not only in sport but in real life. Sport is like a magnet, you can’t get away from it.