Hannah Cockroft

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Hannah Cockroft
Hannah Cockroft.jpeg
Hannah Cockroft in 2010
Personal information
Full name Hannah Lucy Cockroft
  • Hurricane Hannah[1]
  • Pippy Long Stockings[2]
Born (1992-07-30) 30 July 1992 (age 25)[3]
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
Website www.hannahcockroft.co.uk
Country  Great Britain
Sport Wheelchair racing
Disability class T34
Event(s) 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m
Club Leeds City AC
Coached by Jenni Banks
Achievements and titles
Paralympic finals 2012
100 m 18.06 gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games
Cockroft winning the 100 m T34 qualifying heat at the 2012 Summer Paralympics

Hannah Lucy Cockroft[4] MBE (born 30 July 1992) is a British wheelchair racer specialising in sprint distances in the T34 classification. She holds the Paralympic and world records for the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 meters and 1500 metres in her classification.[5] Competing for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she won two gold medals.[6][7]. Hannah won 3 further Gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games[8]

Early years[edit]

Cockroft was born on 30 July 1992 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. She suffered two cardiac arrests at birth that damaged two different parts of her brain. She was left with a disability that affected her balance and mobility, problems with her fine motor skills, weak hips and deformed feet and legs.[9] Her parents were told that she would never be able to walk, talk, do anything for herself or live past her teenage years.[10]

Athletics career[edit]

Cockroft competes on the track as a T34 athlete.

Introduction to wheelchair racing[edit]

At secondary school, Cockroft competed in swimming, wheelchair racing, seated discus, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.[9][11] Her father, a welder, built her first racing chair.[11]

As a result of a silver medal performance in the seated discus at the UK School Games, she attended a British Paralympic Association talent day at Loughborough University in October 2007.[3][9] There, she was given her first opportunity to try an elite racing chair by Dr Ian Thompson, husband of former wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson.[12]

Ian let me have a go in his wheelchair and I loved it. I'd never experienced anything like it before. You go and you don't stop.[12]

Thompson went on to coach her for the first year of her career.[9] In 2008 a dance academy she attended gave the proceeds from programme sales at its annual festival to help her buy her own racing chair, which she named 'Sally'.[2][11] She was subsequently invited to join the Great Britain Paralympic Team shortly after the Beijing Paralympics.[9]


By 2010, Cockroft was being coached by Peter Eriksson, head Paralympic coach at UK Athletics.[13] She competed at the 2010 British Wheelchair Athletics Association International event, and broke four world records.[3] At the Aviva Athletics Awards in December 2010 she received the Best British Paralympic Performance award for 2010.[14]


At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand she took gold in the 100 metres T34 and 200 metres T34.[3] Her performances earned her a second Best British Paralympic Performance award in November 2011.[15]


In May 2012 she became the first Paralympic athlete to break a world record in the London Olympic Stadium, recording a time of 18.56 seconds to win the 100 metres T34.[3] She broke the record again at the Swiss National Championships later that month, finishing in 17.60 seconds.[3]

Cockroft's gold postbox in Halifax, West Yorkshire

On 31 August 2012 she won Great Britain's first track and field gold medal of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, winning the final of the 100 metres T34 in 18.05 seconds, a Paralympic record.[6] On 6 September, she won another gold medal in 200 metres T34 in 31.90 seconds, also a Paralympic record.[7] In honour of her achievements at London 2012, Royal Mail issued two postage stamps featuring Cockroft and painted two post boxes gold in her home town of Halifax.[16][17] She was awarded the freedom of Calderdale at a homecoming event at the Halifax Piece Hall.[18][19]


With Peter Eriksson appointed as UK Athletics head coach in October 2012, Cockroft will be coached by Australian Jenni Banks in 2013.[20]

In July 2013 at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon Cockroft retained both her T34 100 metres and T34 200 metres titles.[21][22]

On 28 July 2013 Cockroft won the T33/T34 100 metres race at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium with a stadium record time of 17.80 seconds.[23]


In March 2014 Cockcroft competed in and won a Sport Relief edition of Strictly Come Dancing, dancing with Pasha Kovalev.[24]

On 1 June 2014 Cockroft recorded a new World Record time of 3.53.57 at 1500 m during the Bedford International Games.[25]

In August 2014, Cockroft won double European gold (100m and 800m) in Swansea to complete the only major championships medals missing in her career.


At the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, Cockcroft won three gold medals, in the Women's 100 metres T34 Final,[26] the Women's 400 metres T34 Final, recording a new world record time of 58.78 seconds,[27] and the Women's 800 metres T34 Final.[28]

Personal life[edit]

In a University gap year, Cockroft is studying for a sports level 2 diploma at Calderdale College. She has a place deferred on a Sports Development degree course at Leeds Metropolitan University.[29] She has also done work experience at Leeds City Council Sports Development.[30]

She has ambitions to be involved with sports media once she has finished competing.[3] In September 2013 she started a degree course in Media and Journalism at Coventry University.[31] In October 2014 she launched 17 Sports Management Limited ("17"), a sports management company.[32]

She cites British wheelchair rugby and F51 discus athlete Josie Pearson and Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc as her sporting inspirations.[3] Petitclerc, winner of 15 Paralympic gold medals and formerly coached by Eriksson, has been involved with Cockroft's development as a mentor and advisor.[33]

She hates fish, and believes she may have ichthyophobia.[34]


Corporate sponsorship[edit]

In 2014, caravan and motorhome insurance company, Caravan Guard, based in Hannah's hometown of Halifax, pledged to sponsor her for a sixth year.


Personal bests[edit]

Event Time Competition Location Date Records
100 metres 17.18 World Para Athletics Championships London, United Kingdom 14 July 2017 WR
200 metres 31.23 US Paralympic Track & Field Trials Indianapolis, United States 29 June 2012 WR
400 metres 58.59[a] Stoke Mandeville Disability Athletics Challenge Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom 30 July 2011
800 metres 2:03.34[a] Stoke Mandeville Disability Athletics Challenge Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom 31 July 2011
1500 metres 4:28.66 German Disability Championships Sindelfingen, Germany 12 July 2009
5000 metres 15:20.82 BWAA International Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom 14 June 2009
3 miles 15:48 London Marathon Mini Marathon London, United Kingdom 25 April 2010
10 km 32:35 Great Manchester Run Manchester, United Kingdom 16 May 2010
10 miles 67:12 Thirsk 10 Thirsk, United Kingdom 29 November 2009
  1. ^ a b Not a world record as event not ratified by IPC.

World records[edit]

Event Time Competition Location Date
World records
100 metres T34 17.18 World Para Athletics Championships London, United Kingdom 14 July 2017
200 metres T34 31.23 US Paralympic Track & Field Trials Indianapolis, United States 29 June 2012
400 metres T34 59.99 Sydney Track Classic Sydney 18 February 2012
800 metres T34 2:04.84 Swiss National Championships Arbon, Switzerland 27 June 2010
Paralympic records
100 metres T34 17.42 2016 Summer Paralympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 11 September 2016
200 metres T34 31.90 2012 Summer Paralympics London, United Kingdom 6 September 2012
200 metres T34 31.90 2012 Summer Paralympics London, United Kingdom 6 September 2012
Hannah Cockroft's gold postbox in Mount Tabor, West Yorkshire

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Team GB: Hurricane Hannah Breezes Into Final". Team GB. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Mercer, David (1 September 2012). "Hannah Cockroft and her wheelchair 'Sally' win gold". The Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Hannah Lucy Cockroft- Double World Champion". Facebook. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "IPC Athletics Records". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Paralympics 2012: Cockroft wins first GB track gold". BBC Sport. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft wins second sprint gold". BBC Sport. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Rio 2016 Paralympic Results". 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Hannah Cockroft". Leeds Gold. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Jackson, Kate (21 May 2012). "Doctors said I'd never do anything ...last week I broke 100m wheelchair record". The Sun. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Williams, Richard (31 August 2012). "Hannah Cockroft burns up the track to relight a flame at Paralympics". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Steinberg, Jacob (18 August 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft fears freeze on London's big stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Hannah Cockroft". London 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Aviva Athletics Awards". UK Athletics. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Aviva UKA Awards". UK Athletics. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Another stamp for Hannah's second gold medal win!". Halifax Courier. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Location of Hannah Cockroft's second golden post box revealed". Halifax Courier. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Hannah Cockroft awarded Freedom of Calderdale". BBC News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Crowds welcome Hannah home!". Halifax Courier. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  20. ^ Turnbull, Simon (6 January 2013). "Hurricane Hannah Cockroft builds momentum". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "IPC Athletics: Hannah Cockroft and Aled Davies win gold medals". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "IPC Athletics: Hannah Cockroft secures sprint double in Lyon". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Anniversary Games: Alan Oliveira world record, Jonnie Peacock PB". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Sport Relief does Strictly". Wheelchair Dance Support Association (UK). Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Bedford International Games – Results" (PDF). Bedford International Games. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Gold and silver in Paralympics 100m for Coventry's Hannah Cockroft and Kare Adenegan". Coventry Telegraph. 11 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  27. ^ "Paralympics 2016: Britain surpass Beijing 2008 gold medal total as Sarah Storey and Hannah Cockroft triumph". The Independent. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  28. ^ "Rio Paralympics: Halifax's Hannah Cockroft leads golden streak to beat London 2012 tally". Yorkshire Post. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  29. ^ "BT Ambassadors – Hannah Cockroft Q&A". BT London 2012. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  30. ^ "Meet The Storytellers : Social Networkers : Hannah Cockroft". BT London 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  31. ^ "Hannah Cockroft targets double gold in Rio despite event change". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  32. ^ Hannah Cockroft launches sports management company
  33. ^ Hart, Simon (6 September 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft destroys the field as she wins T34 200m final to claim gold for Great Britain". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  34. ^ "Hannah Cockroft Q&A". Channel 4. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  35. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 24. 
  36. ^ "2013 New Year's Honours" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  37. ^ "Hannah Cockroft receives honorary degree". BBC. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "Degree of success for York St John". York Press. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 

External links[edit]