Team England athletics star Perri Shakes-Drayton believes that competing on Dancing on Ice will help her when it comes to competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Shakes-Drayton, is one of the celebrities competing on 2018’s Dancing On Ice.

The 29-year-old, who was part of the British women’s 4x400m relay team that claimed silver at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, is enjoying her time on the popular Saturday night TV show and is already finding that it’s helping her preparations for Gold Coast 2018.

She said: “I am loving being on Dancing On Ice. It’s very different to running on the track as it requires a lot more thought and taking in information compared to when I am on the track, which comes second nature to me.

“I feel stronger, using muscles that I normally wouldn’t use as much when I am running or doing certain drills in the gym. I go to athletics training and am really pleasing my coach because he has my targets and I am hitting them.”

England’s new dancing star will be heading out to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games from 4-15 April, and with the games fast approaching Shakes-Drayton is having to ensure she finds the right balance between her training on the track and the ice.

Shakes-Drayton added: “It’s very commanding but my athletics coach has been very understanding at changing my sessions.

“Ice skating is very quad-dominant, so if I have a track session before the training on the ice, he won’t send me there with heavy legs. It’s all very calculated and smart.”

Shakes-Drayton has encountered a number of unfortunate injuries throughout her career, at one point being told she would never be able to compete at an international level again. Having already persevered to defy those predictions, she recognises the importance of recovery and managing her time well.

“Recovery is very important to me. After I have done my training in the morning I will go and have a nap, eat and then go and train in the afternoon.

“I have days off as well so that I am not constantly on the track or the ice to make sure that I am always recovered and well rested.”

And the Team England athlete has found that other competitors in Dancing On Ice have been quizzing her on how to handle the pressure of competition, something she is very used to. 

“Some of the other competitors have been asking me about how I get into the competitive mind frame, and I say that it’s just the competitor and athlete in me.

“In training it’s not a competition and I view it as a performance. When I go on the ice, I go to perform, just as I do in athletics.”

The London-born athlete is naturally hoping to progress through the Dancing On Ice competition as far as possible, and shortly after the show finishes she will be heading out to the Gold Coast with the Commonwealth Games being her next major competition – and one she is looking forward to.

“I am very much so looking forward to the Gold Coast, I have never done a Commonwealth Games before and never been to Australia.

I would love to come home with a medal but I am grateful that I have been selected. The Commonwealth Games is an opportunity that I will really enjoy and let’s just see how far I can go with it.

“I am going to feel so proud to represent Team England. Whenever I put on a piece of uniform and I get to display my talent I feel so proud knowing that there is a whole nation behind me.”

Good luck Perri, and we look forward to seeing you in Australia!