Whether you're recreating your favourite Olympic event from your front room in our Team GB #IsolationGames challenge, or reimagining yourself as Thierry Henry scoring a belter as part of #ArsenalRecreated, lockdown sport is booming on TikTok especially with the return of the Premier League which we celebrated with our #BackInTheGame challenge ⚽️🏏
While gyms and playing fields might still be closed, nothing has stopped the TikTok community coming up with creative, DIY at-home solutions to keep playing their favourite sports.
And today, in the latest of our TikTok Creator Spotlight series, we're honouring all our TikTok sporting stars and speaking to one of the brightest emerging creators on TikTok and one of only two female freestylers in the UK - freestyle footballer @Lia.Lewis .
So Lia, how did you get into freestyle football?
It all started two years ago. I was actually a dancer and had just finished a degree in dance but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I was watching the women's world cup and I thought, I want to have a go at that. So one day I joined TikTok and started learning some football tricks. I must have posted only ten videos and then suddenly one went viral. It all grew from there...
You weren't an expert freestyler then when you joined TikTok?
Totally! I didn't have much experience when I started, and have really learnt as I've grown on the platform. It's nice to think some of my original fans have been there and seen my journey and how I've got more confident and improved my skills over time.
You have over a million followers now - is your relationship with your fans important?
Yes - it's so important! When I started out all I wanted to do was inspire more girls to enjoy football, give freestyle a go and show the boys that we can take them on at anything. So now my following is about 70% girls and I love having them message me for advice, support, and tips on how to do tricks. I've got a platform now to put women's football and freestyle on the map and inspire more girls to take part. It's really exciting.
Your tricks often look really difficult, do you ever make mistakes?
Always! I think it's important to also show people that you need to practice and try things a few times before you can be good at it. It's a learning process. I've actually posted a few videos of outtakes where I've fallen flat on my face while attempting a trick. That's what I think is great about TikTok - it's somewhere where you can show that unedited version of yourself. Some of my freestyle fail videos have had more views and likes than some of the toughest tricks i've pulled off perfectly.
You're also part of a freestyle community on TikTok is that right?
Yes, there's a few of us who train and film together. I've made some good friends from freestyle. @harrietfreestyle, @moomar and @ben are some of my TikTok mates who've helped me think up great trick sequences and showed me the best angles and shots to film. They've really supported me and I can't wait to get back to training with them after lockdown.
What advice would you give to other girls thinking about giving freestyle a go on TikTok?
Definitely do it! It's really fun and even if you start out making mistakes you'll be a pro in no time at all. It's a really supportive community and TikTok is full of amazing inspiring women who are sporting stars - I'd love to see more and more girls get involved and benefit from that.
Lia has been featured in our latest TikTok TV ad! Keep your eyes peeled to catch her on the small screen showing off her skills.
Haven't heard of Lia Lewis before? Check out some of our favourite of her videos!