Friends and family have been sprint star Asha Philip’s ‘safety net’ and without them in Tokyo, she wants Team GB’s home support to stand up and be counted. 

Philip’s devoted fan club of mum Sharon and aunties Alric and Fay had planned to travel to Japan but will have to watch from home as a COVID-19 countermeasure.

But, with a little help from technology and a few messages of inspiration, the Rio 2016 bronze medallist will still have a little slice of home with her in Tokyo.

“The Olympics is every four years and we work so hard to get there and my family aren’t going to be there, it’s horrible,” said Philip, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo.

“You’re there by yourself, I won’t be able to get my hug from my mum and I think that’s upsetting.

“It’s going to be a tough one so having videos and lovely messages from home will be touching.

“My family love a WhatsApp group, that’s what we’re going to be on. I think I’ll just be calling at random times and hopefully someone will answer.”

The 30-year-old, who won 4x100m relay bronze at her first Games four years ago, will be among Team GB’s top medal hopes again at this summer’s rescheduled Olympics.

A relay squad that could include the likes of Desirèe Henry, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson and Dina Asher-Smith will hope to deliver after back-to-back World Championship silver medals in 2017 and 2019.

Now, they bid to go one better and beat rivals Jamaica and United States and they do so knowing they are without the familiar home comforts which normally greet them in the stands. 

Runcorn and Widnes World:

“There’s no safety net now, we’re out on our own two feet and we have to perform,” said Philip. 

“I want to come back with a big smile on my face and know we’ve done our country and our families proud.

“We [the 4x100m relay team] really want that gold medal. That would change our lives forever.

“We’ve worked hard and we know what we’re capable of. That gold one is looking very shiny right now.

“It’s on the cards for us, I couldn’t say we’re not capable of doing it, we just have to go out and do it.

“As for the individual event, I want to make an Olympic final and that’s my aim.

“That would be the best. I’d be able to say I made an Olympic final. For me to say I’d made an Olympic final around my personal best, that would tick boxes.”

Asha Philip 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  or