Perform at St. George’s Park Announce Sponsored Athletes | Spire Perform

News and blog

Perform at St. George’s Park Announce Sponsored Athletes

Perform Press Office
13 August 2014

Three local athletes have been given a boost by Perform at St. George’s Park.

Para-canoeist Charlotte Wilkinson-Burnett, middle-distance runner Emma Jackson and triathlete Michelle Willcocks have been selected to receive the Perform Athlete Scholarship by the leading human performance and fitness facility, based at The FA National Training Centre in Burton.


The 12-month scholarship includes a substantial package of benefits from Perform including sports science testing, regular strength and conditioning coaching, monthly sports massages and unlimited use of the Perform high-tech gym suite.

Perform at St. George’s Park, whose facilities and services are open to the general public, will also offer injury assessment and physiotherapy to the three sponsored athletes at priority rates.

Charlotte Wilkinson- Burnett is one of the country’s most promising para-canoeists. After a serious accident ended a promising hockey career, Charlotte successfully applied for UK Sport’s ‘Bring on Rio’ talent drive and has now been part of the GB squad for 12 months.

Unfortunately injury has blighted Charlotte’s training and so far she has raced in only one competitive event, the UK National Championships in 2013. With a second place finish, Charlotte is now eager to get back on the water and chase down the GB top spot.

Charlotte said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be chosen for the Perform Athlete Scholarship; the facilities and staff here are absolutely world class. This will be the first time I have had the opportunity to use several of the pieces of equipment and services that are on offer at Perform St. George’s Park and I am very excited to see how the sponsorship support will help to drive my performance levels forward.”

Michelle Willcocks is an elite triathlete, due to make her debut for Great Britain at the 2015 European Sprint Championships in Geneva. Michelle’s achievements in elite sport are all the more remarkable when considering that the 28 year-old has now been living with Ulcerative Colitis for 7 years, undergoing a subtotal colectomy in 2011.

Michelle’s operation removed the barrier to her performance improvement and alongside charity Ostomy Lifestyle, she now encourages other people with stomas to have the confidence get back into their favourite sports or try new activities.

Michelle commented:

“I am so pleased to be chosen for the Perform Athlete Scholarship – as an amateur athlete it’s an unbelievable opportunity to access such elite facilities and support. After overcoming so many challenges to reach my current fitness peak, working with Perform will be crucial in pushing my performance to the next level over the next year!”

Emma Jackson is a top runner, however unfortunately two years of injury troubles have stalled a promising 800m career.  

After a stellar junior athletics career, including posting the world’s leading 800m time for U20s in 2007, Emma went on to represent Great Britain at several major championships including the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the 2011 World Championships in South Korea.

However, after suffering three significant injuries since 2011, Emma missed several important athletics meets including the London 2012 Olympics.  With her UK Sport elite funding now completely withdrawn, Emma relies on a part-time job and family support to keep her running dream alive.


Emma said:

“I am over the moon to be chosen for the Perform Athlete Scholarship; the facilities and staff here are amongst the best in the world! After a difficult two years I am now more committed than ever to fulfil my potential and challenge for medals on the world stage. Working with the very best rehabilitation specialists at Perform is going to be a huge factor in achieving those goals.”

Phil Horton, Perform Director, commented;

“From the team at Perform, I congratulate Charlotte, Michelle and Emma on winning our Athlete Sponsorship Packages; our selectors were extremely impressed by their physical testing results and their potential to truly excel in their disciplines.”

“Our elite team of sports and clinical professionals are looking forward to working with Charlotte, Michelle and Emma over the next 12 months to help them achieve their performance goals.”

For more information regarding the scholarship programme or services provided at Perform at St. George’s Park, please call 01283 576333 or email