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From Superdry to Sydney! Basingstoke store manager’s inspiring story wins her a role as ambassador at the Invictus Games

08 October 2018

From Superdry to Sydney! Basingstoke store manager’s inspiring story wins her a role as ambassador at the Invictus Games

Carly Ward, manager of the Superdry store at Festival Place, Basingstoke, is preparing to jet off to the Invictus Games in Sydney after the story of how she transformed her life through exercise won a company-wide competition.

Superdry, the official sportswear partner for Team UK, held a national competition for staff to find someone to act as the company’s ambassador in Australia.

Carly submitted an emotional two-minute video detailing how she transformed her physical and mental fitness through exercise, losing three-and-a-half stone and raising £1,000 for The Prince’s Trust by running the Bournemouth Half Marathon last year.

Carly’s entry was picked as the winner, and she will now travel to Sydney to represent Superdry during the games, which run from October 20 to 27.

She said: “I entered because I wanted to raise the profile of mental health issues and highlight how supportive Superdry has been. My dad took his own life when I was 19. He suffered from fibromyalgia which is very painful, and the condition really affected his mental health. The stigma around mental health was a lot worse then, especially for men.

“As a result of losing my father, my own mental health declined, but I hid it. I had seen the reaction to my father and so I didn’t get help. Two years ago my hair started to fall out and it took a long time for me to realise that this was linked to me bottling up feelings and not getting help. I finally went to the doctor and was given medication which helped but made me put on a lot of weight.

“I decided to sort myself out, and started exercising. It was time to put myself first and get myself back to better health. I’m now coping much better and, because I know what triggers my anxiety, I am able to work around that. Superdry has been very supportive of me and made some changes at work which helped me.”

Superdry Sport’s in-house team of designers have been working hard on creating full technical kit for the UK competitors taking part in the international adaptive sporting competition in Sydney. Collaborating with Help for Heroes, the charity delivering and training Team UK, Superdry have drawn upon their guidance and expertise to ensure the specialist requirements of the Team are met. Each piece of sports kit has been designed to help maximise sporting performance.

The Invictus Games was created by HRH Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing. Launching the first Invictus Games in London in 2014, the Prince said that the Games would “demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability”.

This year’s Games in Australia will see more than 500 competitors from 17 nations expected to take part in 10 different adaptive sports. Events will be held across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour.

To kick-start The Games in Australia, Superdry will be hosting an exclusive welcome event for Team UK and will also be present at the week-long Games following the action throughout, with their in-house team on hand to support the competitors on their journey to success.

Carly added: “I’m really looking forward to going to the Games and seeing the competitors in action. I feel privileged to be representing the Superdry team who have supported me so much.”

Picture: (Left to right) Jess Clark, Levi Hemstock, Carly Ward, Mollie Lawrence and Fraser Roskilly at the Superdry store at Festival Place, Basingstoke.