‘I never expect to win!’ – Michelle Willcocks receives top amateur prize at Nottingham Post Sports Awards 2017


Michelle Willcocks insists she will still never expect to win, despite enjoying the best year of her career.

The 31-year-old Mansfield Triathlon Club member, who works at King’s Mill Hospital, became both a European and world champion this year – and “topped” it all off by winning the Amateur Sportsperson of the Year prize, sponsored by Proludic, at the Nottingham Post Sports Awards 2017.

She beat off stiff competition from University of Nottingham table tennis ace Maria Tsapstinos, who won a national title this year, and martial artists Chloe Adcock, a current British, European and world champion.

“It’s absolutely amazing, it’s been an amazing year for me and this has just topped it off,” said Willcocks, after receiving her award at the ceremony at the East Midlands Conference Centre.

“I finished my season in September, becoming world champion, and then found out on my way back from that competition that I had been nominated for this award.

“It’s been the best year.”

Michelle Willcocks in action

A diabetes specialist dietician at King’s Mill Hospital, Willcocks underwent surgery for ulcerative colitis six years ago.

But it has not stopped her from winning national and international titles, competing in the 30-34 age group category, including the gold at the European Sprint Triathlon Championships in Dusseldorf in June and gold at the World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam in September.

She also won gold at the National Sprint Triathlon Championships, gold at the National Aquathon Championships and yet another gold in the National Standard Distance Triathlon Championships – all this year.

“I’ve kind of built up to this from having my operation, my bowel surgery in 2011,” she added.

“It’s been building up my fitness again and the past two or three years I have been winning national titles, then going off to do the Europeans and then this was my first World Championships.”

While she admits winning the European title gave her confidence going into her debut on the world stage, she never expected to win.

“I became European champion this year as well, but you never know when you turn up to a competition,” she said.

“I wasn’t expecting to win. To be honest I never expect to win, I always think there is going to be somebody else, but then I like to go into things as the underdog, so it was a bit of a surprise.”

Willcocks admits the sport has “kind of taken over her life”, training early in the mornings and in the evenings either side of her full time job at King’s Mill.

“There’s a lot to train for – with three different sports!” she said.

“I’ve found quite a good training regime. Basically it’s my life outside of work.

“I’ve been doing it around 10 years now, more sort of dabbling in it until the last few years really when it became a bit more serious – although it’s still fun!”

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So what now?

“I don’t know! Everyone asks me this question,” she said.

“I was jokingly saying I’m going to retire, but I think me and my boyfriend Chris are going to take a year off from doing the GB competing and just enter some fun events really, and do a few local events and things, and then decide what’s next after that.”



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