Shona McCallin signs with TechPitch

The three-year partnership will see the Olympic gold medallist become the face of TechPitch in the UK

EMERGE Sport Management athlete Shona McCallin has signed a three year deal with Dutch company TechPitch to become its official UK ambassador. Shona will support TechPitch in raising the brand awareness of the training product throughout the UK hockey market, which is on a high after the success for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Originating from one of the world’s most successful hockey nations, TechPitch is an innovative hockey training tool that allows users of all abilities to practice a number of playing techniques. The product utilises the renowned 1.2.3hockey! training method, developed by experienced hockey coach Albert Monpellier.

The practice involves following printed guide lines on patches of turf that can be produced in various sizes. The lines are drawn in a distinctive pattern that allows players to focus not only on ball and stick dribbling actions, but also footwork that is common place in a competitive match, and freeing players to be able to move 360° in any direction as quickly as possible. Repetitive drills using TechPitch result in these movements becoming autonomous and easier to implement in a match environment.

Having simultaneously studied at Tilburg University and trained at the HC MOP under the leadership of coach Toon Siepman for three years, Shona has a passion for both the Dutch way of playing and the country itself. For TechPitch, this made Shona the perfect ambassador for the UK, as Albert Monpellier explained; “I know Shona personally from when she was in The Netherlands and played for MOP in the Dutch hockey league.

“You could already see that Shona was focused and engaged on a mission, a young lady with human attitude and a sporting heart! Our company is dynamic and inventive, daring to dive into the future and like Shona, we are on a mission too! We are really excited to show everyone in the UK that they can learn how to play hockey just like Shona.”

As part of the agreement, Shona, who is currently with the England squad in Auckland, New Zealand for the Hockey World League Finals, will use TechPitch for her own personal training. Commenting on the product, Shona said: “I am a massive fan of TechPitch and the simple way it teaches some of the most important fundamentals that are often overlooked.”

The smallest TechPitch roll of 2x2m is easily portable, meaning players can practice anywhere, anytime – something that Shona believes makes it ideal for youngsters learning the game; “I’m not only going to be using TechPitch in my own training, I will also be using it in my coaching and masterclass sessions I hold in local schools and clubs.

“You can set the small roll up at home on your driveway, garage or any flat surface, so I’d encourage any young player wanting to improve their control and agility to get one and put the hours in running the drills. Those that do will see dramatic improvements to their on-field performance.”

For more information on TechPitch visit or click here to see a video of the TechPitch in action.

Emma Wiggs receives Honorary Doctorate from University of Chichester

EMERGE Sports Management athlete Emma Wiggs received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Chichester, at a graduation ceremony this past Sunday.

Emma is a University of Chichester graduate herself having graduated with a degree in sports and exercise science in 2003, before qualifying as a teacher by gaining the Postgraduate Certificate in Education the following year. She was given an Honorary Doctorate of Education in recognition of her teaching career at Lavant House School, Chichester, and The Regis School in Bognor as well as her incredibly successful paracanoe achievements since she became a full-time athlete in 2012.

The accolade means a lot to Emma who has always held teaching close to her heart: “I am really proud to have been chosen for an Honorary Doctorate. The University of Chichester is a place that will always mean a lot to me as it encouraged me to achieve my aspiration of becoming a P.E teacher.”

This latest recognition comes after Emma was shortlisted for the Disability Sportswoman of the Year 2017 at last week’s Vitality Sportswomen of the Year Awards in London. Having had a phenomenal 12 months which has seen Emma retain her British, European and World Championship titles, Emma now holds the prestigious Grand Slam champion status, as she is the reigning Olympic, World and European champion, after her gold medal at Rio 2016.

Emma was amongst eleven influential figures being recognised for contributions to their fields, which also included Team GB sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, as well as Olympic windsurfer Nick Dempsey. They joined more than 2,000 graduates at the Chichester Festival Theatre on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 November.

Nekoda Davis

Nekoda Davis continues good form with Bronze at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

EMERGE Sports Management athlete Nekoda Davis has continued her great form with a bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. The British -57kg judoka beat world number seven Jessica Klimkait of Canada in a rematch of their round of 16 contest from the 2017 World Championships.

Klimkait got the better of the early stages with some good movement and fast gripping, before Nekoda asserted her dominance after gaining control of her opponent, and forcing Klimkait to concede the three shido penalties to pick up the victory.

Nekoda had started the day with a solid victory over Nazakat Azizova of Azerbaijan, before a close defeat against Russian Anastasiia Konkina in the quarter finals, meant she had to drop into the repechage group. Another victory against Poland’s Anna Borowska by waza-ari meant Nekoda would end the competition competing for the bronze medal.

Speaking after picking up her medal Nekoda said: “I came to win today so the loss in the quarter final really knocked me and I found it hard to pick myself up for the bronze fight. I am glad I could finish off the day with the medal despite how I was feeling.”

Her performance impressed British Judo Elite Performance Coach Kate Howey MBE who has seen Nekoda show signs of improvement over her last few competitions: “Although Nekoda was not at her best today she still performed well enough to take the bronze. Since the Worlds she has been on a heavy programme in the gym and technically in the mat.

“The pleasing thing about today is some of the technical drills are working in competition already.”

This latest medal comes after an impressive couple of months for Nekoda after picking up Silver at the World Championships in Budapest in August, and a further bronze medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix in last month. This run of good forms comes after a difficult start to the year when she had to undergo wrist and thumb surgery which saw her miss out on the European Championships in April.

Nekoda will look to continue her run of medals, and round off a successful 2017, with a positive performance at the Tokyo Grand Slam in December.

Shona McCallin guest of honour at Aldi Skegness opening

EMERGE athlete Shona McCallin was the latest Team GB star to host the opening of one of Aldi’s newest stores. Shona cut the ribbon to officially open the new supermarket in the Quora Retail Park on Burgh Road in Skegness.

Speaking during the ceremony, Shona revealed her connection with the town: “I’m really delighted to be opening the Aldi store in Skegness. I used to come to Skegness on holiday so have lots of happy memories here. I’ve been in the area visiting schools and I’m here today with my grandma and we are hoping to go and have a look around later.”

The local public queued outside the Skegness store from 7am, eager to see the opening ceremony and have a look around the aisles. Shona was alongside store manager Shaun Bolland in welcoming shoppers through the doors, as well as members of the Skegness RNLI and the Salvation Army.

After the opening ceremony, Shona also led a tour of the shop via Facebook Live with local newspaper the Skegness Siren, and chatted to shoppers in store about the great British produce on offer. Shona was even on hand to offer training advice to young track and field Team GB prospect and European Bronze medallist, John Caborn: “She told me she does 10 training sessions a week, twice a day for four days, then goes swimming on her day off. I’m definitely not doing enough.”

As an official partner of Team GB, Aldi supplies food vouchers for the athletes so they can maintain a healthy diet which, according to Shona, is a big advantage: “For the 600 Team GB athletes in training, our food bill is an enormous outlay for us, so the vouchers are a huge help.”

Store manager Shaun Bolland commented on the day: “We’d like to say a big thank you to Shona and members of the Salvation Army and RNLI for their support this morning.”

If you would like to book Shona for an upcoming event appearance, please contact Jenny Forbes at

For more information on Shona, visit

ParalympicsGB para canoeist Emma Wiggs MBE nominated for Sunday Times Disability Sportswoman of the Year 2017

ParalympicsGB para canoeist Emma Wiggs MBE nominated for Sunday Times Disability Sportswoman of the Year 2017

EMERGE Sport Management athlete Emma Wiggs MBE has made the shortlist for the Sunday Times Disability Sportswoman of the Year 2017.

Her nomination comes after a phenomenal 12 months which has seen Emma retain her British, European and World Championship titles. Those titles, along with her Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, means she currently has the distinction of being a Grand Slam champion, a rarity in modern sport, and puts her amongst the greats of British sporting heroes, including athletics’ Sir Mo Farah and swimming’s Adam Peaty.

The awards, which are now in their 30th year, recognise the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite athletes, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational women. The Sportswomen Awards are among the most prestigious and influential in the British sporting calendar and are supported by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, UK Sport, Sport England and Women in Sport.

Following an open public vote for nominations, which closed at midday on Monday 25th September, a panel of experts narrowed the nominees down to a final shortlist for each award category which were announced yesterday. The other nominees for the award are Emma’s British paracanoe teammate Jeanette Chippington, wheelchair sprinter Hannah Cockroft, and sprinter Sophie Hahn.

Speaking after learning of her nomination, Emma said; “I am incredibly proud to be nominated for the Sunday Times Disability Sportswoman of the Year award, and want to thank everyone who voted for me. I have trained so hard this year, especially the long hours in the gym working on getting stronger, so it’s been a great seeing the hard work pay off on the water. I’m honoured to be shortlisted alongside my teammate Jeanette as well, demonstrating the strength of British paracanoeing at the moment, and the great support team we have in place.”

Last year’s Disability Sportswoman of the Year award was won by parasport sprinter and para-cyclist Kadeena Cox, and other previous winners include wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley and Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Slater.

The other awards up for grabs this year are the coveted Sportswoman of the Year, Young Sportswoman of the Year, Team of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award and The Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration. There is also a special community award, which will honour an individual who has actively engaged different groups of people within their community through sport. A two-week public vote for the Community Award is currently underway via the Sportswoman of the Year website.


A full list of nominees for all the awards can be seen below:

The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year

Elinor Barker (Track Cycling)

Elise Christie (Short-Track Speed Skating)

Jodie Taylor (Football)

Tammy Beaumont (Cricket)

Johanna Konta (Tennis)

Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo)

Young Sportswoman of the Year

Freya Anderson (Swimming)

Ellie Downie (Artistic Gymnastics)

Millie Knight (Para-Skiing)

Sammi Kinghorn (Para-Athletics)

Disability Sportswoman of the Year

Emma Wiggs (Canoeing)

Jeanette Chippington (Canoeing)

Sophie Hahn (Athletics)

Hannah Cockroft (Athletics)


The Awards will be held at a ceremony in central London, on Thursday 26th October, and broadcast live from 8pm on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Action.

For more information on the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards, please visit

Nominate Emma Wiggs for the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards after World and European golds

A year ago to the day EMERGE athlete Emma Wiggs claimed her Paralympic Gold medal at Rio 2016 and started a year of incredible success.

After an incredible 12 months in which she also retained her World and British titles, and reclaimed European gold, Emma now holds the prestigious Grand Slam champion status. Only Sir Mo Farah and Adam Peaty have similar status when it comes to British athletes, further cementing her place as one of the best athletes in the UK.

There are few athletes who can claim to have had as successful a year as Emma in world sport, which is why she is a worthy candidate for the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award. Voting for nominations is currently open to the public, with a panel of experts shortlisting for the seven award categories once voting closes at midday on Monday 25th September.

Now in their 30th year, the Awards celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite athletes, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational women. The winners will then be revealed at a glitzy ceremony at the Hilton London Bankside hotel on the evening of Thursday 26th October.

Previous winners of the main award, the coveted Sportswoman of the Year accolade, include Sally Gunnell, Denise Lewis, Dame Kelly Holmes, Zara Phillips, Victoria Pendleton, Christine Ohuruogu and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.

To nominate Emma for both Sportswoman of the Year, and Disability Sportswoman of the Year awards, visit

Emma Wiggs Meat Co

Emma Wiggs MBE has joined The Great British Meat Company as brand ambassador

The Great British Meat Company, Britain’s #1 online butcher, has announced the UK’s #1 female paracanoeist Emma Wiggs MBE, as a brand ambassador.

On Friday (24 August 2017) Emma completed the calendar Grand Slam of major Para-canoe titles as she took her fifth successive world KL2 gold in the Czech Republic, to make her the current British, European, World and Paralympic Champion.

The link-up demonstrates the Great British Meat Company’s continued support of fuelling performance athletes with fresher, tastier meat.

Famed for her dedication and desire to win, Emma is natural choice to represent the Great British Meat Company. In addition to her phenomenal success as an athlete, she is a Youth Sport Trust athlete mentor and is committed to ensuring that the next generation of talented young athletes appreciate the importance of quality nutritional fuel to give them a competitive edge.

Talking about her new partnership with Great British Meat Company, Wiggs comments “I’m honoured to be working with Great British Meat Company. My training regime means I eat a lot of high protein meals and have a real passion for cooking and nutrition, and knowing that the meat I use is British and from assured high welfare farms is really important to me.”

Sam Wass, Director of the Great British Meat Company, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Emma on board the GBMC family. She is a fantastic role model for aspiring athletes and we’re looking forward in helping to fuel her continued success”.

As part of her partnership with the Great British Meat Company, Emma will be sharing her favourite recipes, cooking tips and pre and post training meals – make sure you stay up to date with the latest news and information from GBMC by following us on Twitter (@gbmeatco) and Instagram (greatbritishmeatco) or liking our Facebook page (/GreatBritishMeatco) . You can also follow Emma Wiggs on Twitter (@emwiggsy) and Instagram (@emmawiggs).

Emma Wiggs reigns supreme

EMERGE Paracanoeist Emma Wiggs MBE dominated the field to win her sixth ICF Paracanoe World Championship title in Racice, Czech Republic.

Leaving the rest of the field in her wake, Emma took home the gold in record breaking 49.947 in the Women’s KL2 200m, her fifth gold in this event in successive years.  Wiggs finished almost two seconds ahead of the rest of the field, with British team mate Nicola Paterson finishing strong to clinch silver.

Emma, the former sitting volleyball player now holds the grand slam of KL2 titles, having topped the podium at the European Championships earlier this year and at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where paracanoe made its debut. She is also the world record holder and reigning British Champion.

Having had a broken finger, as well as rib and elbow injuries this year, Emma’s preparation has been far from ideal. However, with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, she has been determined to push on and prepare as best she can to start the new cycle off with positive performances.

On her victory, she said: “I can’t believe it, what a year.  It is brilliant to hold all the titles.

“I felt quite strong through the race but I’ve had a lack of speed work this year due to injuries so to win it in a build year is more than I could’ve asked for. My coach Matt has been an absolute legend this year.

“This has been the toughest year of my career.  After the Paralympics everyone is on my tail and I feel the pressure but I want to keep performing and will do as long as I have a good race in me. This has probably been the most satisfying title so far.

“I feel proud and honoured to be part of the team and to sit on the podium with my team mate Nicola is great.”

Chloe Birch prepares for debut World Badminton Championships

Chloe Birch prepares for debut World Badminton Championships

EMERGE athlete Chloe Birch is set to make her BWF Badminton World Championships debut next week. The championships are taking place in Glasgow between 21-27 August at the Emirates Arena, where Chloe will be competing in the Women’s Singles.

Chloe is representing England alongside Fontaine Chapman in the Women’s Singles, and is excited about making her debut on the world stage and testing herself against top quality opposition; “I’m really looking forward to gaining more experience, and getting a feel for the bigger stage.”

Her first opponent, India’s Tanvi Lad, is one she is familiar with having played her once before and narrowly lost in a close three set match. Should she manage to get a better result this time round she’ll set up a mouth-watering clash with second seed Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea, but Chloe isn’t fazed by her potential opposition; “The first target is to avenge the result against Tanvi and then hopefully test myself against one of the best in the world in Ji Hyun Sung. I’m not getting ahead of myself, I’ll be taking it one match at a time and trying to put in the best performances I can.”

Chloe has adapted her preparations for this championships by getting in more match practice in July than in previous years; “I’ve been out to the USA and Canada and played in matches during July which is not something I’ve done before, I normally don’t play between June and August. I’m hoping that the extra match practice will really help me hit the ground running for the Worlds.”

At just 21, Chloe has a long career ahead of her and she’s looking to use these championships as a springboard for further success; “I’ve not yet qualified for the Commonwealth Games next year so a good performance this week should help me achieve that. The ultimate goal is obviously an Olympic medal, and hopefully World and European titles too.”

To follow Chloe’s progress in the tournament visit

Shona McCallin named in England squad for EuroHockey Championships

EMERGE athlete Shona McCallin has been named as part of the 18-woman squad that will go to the EuroHockey Championships in the Netherlands. The tournament, which runs between 19-27 August at the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam, will see England compete in pool B against Germany, Ireland and Scotland.

As reigning champions, England will be looking to retain their title but will face stiff competition, starting with their first match against Ireland on Saturday 19 August. Shona will be competing at her second EuroHockey Championships and is looking forward to challenge; “We have the added pressure on us being reigning champions, as well as our performance at the World League so we know we’ll have to be at our best but we’re confident of putting in a good team performance.”

Speaking to BBC Sport David Ralph, who will lead the squad as Danny Kerry recovers from the heart attack he suffered during England’s World League semi-final, said; “”The level of competition at these championships is always high and there are a number of good teams competing to win it,”

“We are relishing the opportunity and challenge that awaits us as we look to continue our progression as a group.”

Shona will be hoping to add another winners medal to her Rio 2016 Gold medal with Team GB, and her 2015 EuroHockey winners medal with England last time around.

Full squad: Giselle Ansley, Sophie Bray, Alex Danson (c), Emily Defroand, Sarah Haycroft, Maddie Hinch, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Shona McCallin, Lily Owsley, Ellie Rayer, Zoe Shipperley, Amy Tennant, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth, Hollie Webb, Nic White.

Saturday 19th August – England v Ireland 1.45pm UK Time
Sunday 20th August – England v Germany 4.45pm UK Time
Tuesday 22nd August – England v Scotland 11.30am UK Time