Hannah Cockroft

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Hannah Cockroft
MBE
Hannah Cockroft.jpeg
Hannah Cockroft in 2010
Personal information
Full nameHannah Lucy Cockroft
Nickname(s)
  • Hurricane Hannah[1]
Born (1992-07-30) 30 July 1992 (age 26)[2]
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
Websitewww.hannahcockroft.co.uk
Sport
Country Great Britain
SportWheelchair racing
Disability classT34
Event(s)100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m
ClubLeeds City AC
Coached byJenni Banks
Achievements and titles
Paralympic finals2012
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[3] MBE, DL (born 30 July 1992) is a British wheelchair racer specialising in sprint distances in the T34 classification. She holds the world records for the 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres and 1500 metres in her classification and the Paralympic records at 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and 800 metres.[4] Competing for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she won two gold medals.[5][6] Hannah won 3 further Gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games[7]

Early years[edit]

Cockroft was born on 30 July 1992 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. She suffered two cardiac arrests after birth which left her with permanent damage in numerous areas of her brain, resulting in weak hips, deformed feet and legs and mobility problems and affecting the fine motor skills in her hands. Hannah's disability means she uses a wheelchair for long distances but does have a small ability to walk.

Athletics career[edit]

Cockroft competes on the track as a T34 athlete.

Introduction to wheelchair racing[edit]

After being turned away from sport throughout her primary education, at secondary school, Cockroft competed in swimming, seated discus and wheelchair basketball.[8][9]

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.[10][8] Here, she was given her first opportunity to try an elite racing wheelchair by Dr Ian Thompson, husband of former wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson.[11]

Thompson went on to coach her for the first year of her career.[8] In 2008 a dance academy she attended gave the proceeds from programme sales at its annual show to help her buy her own racing chair, but when it arrived, it's made to measure set up was incorrect, so her father, a welder, modified the wheelchair to fit.[9] After returning to the UK School Games that year, and taking gold in her first competitive 100m race, she was subsequently invited to join the Great Britain Paralympic Team shortly after the Beijing Paralympics.[8] In 2009, Cockroft participated in her first ever road race; the London Mini Marathon, taking the Champion title in the girls 14-19 age group category.

2010[edit]

By 2010, Cockroft was being coached by Peter Eriksson, head Paralympic coach at UK Athletics.[12] She again competed in the London Mini marathon, retaining her title as the female champion and at the Knowsley disability athletics challenge in May, she broke her first World Record in the T34 400 metres, recording a time of 65.51 seconds. Later that month, Cockroft sat her A-level exams, became prom Queen and broke seven more world records, all in the space of eight days! At the Aviva and UK Athletics Awards in December, Hannah received the Best British Paralympic Performance award for 2010.

2011[edit]

Cockroft made her senior Great Britain team debut at the age of 19, at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. Here, she took gold in the T34 100 metres and the T34 200 metres.[13] Later that year, she made her junior debut for the team, at the IWAS World Junior Championships. Here, she returned home as the Junior 200 metre and 400 metre World Champion. Her performances earned her a second Best British Paralympic Performance award in November 2011 and honorary lifetime membership of her athletics club, Leeds City AC.

2012[edit]

In May 2012, Hannah 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 T34 100 metres.[14] She broke the record again at the Swiss National Championships later that month, finishing in 17.60 seconds.

On 31 August 2012, Cockroft lined up in her first Paralympic Games final and won Great Britain's first track Gold medal since 2004, and 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.[15] On 6 September, she won another gold medal in 200 metres T34 in 31.90 seconds, also a Paralympic record.[16] 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.[17][18] She was awarded the freedom of Calderdale at a homecoming event at the Halifax Piece Hall and was named an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours.[19][20]

2013[edit]

In 2013, Cockroft changed her coaching team to Australian born, Jenni Banks OAM.

On 28 July, 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.[21] Later that month, at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, Cockroft retained both her T34 100 metres and T34 200 metres titles.[22][23]

Hannah was named in the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, coming 7th overall. She was the first Paralympian to ever be nominated for the award outside of a Paralympic year.

2014[edit]

In March, Cockroft competed in and won a Sport Relief edition of Strictly Come Dancing, dancing with Pasha Kovalev.[24] On 1 June, Cockroft recorded a new World Record time of 3.53.57 over 1500 metres during the Bedford International Games.[25]

In August, Hannah took Gold in 100 metres and for the first time competed in the 800 metres, winning Gold at her first IPC European Championships that were held in Swansea. These were the last major championship medals missing from her collection. She later took her fourth title as British Athletics Para athlete of the year and was named Athletics Weekly female para athlete of the year.

2015[edit]

2015 saw Cockroft lose her first ever race after a 7 year domination. At the Newham open meet in July, Cockroft came second to British compatriot Kare Adenegan over 400 metres. She pulled it back later in the day with a win over the 800 metres. In Doha at the IPC World Championships at the end of the season, Hannah retained her World Champion title over the 100m, and won her first Gold medals over the 400 metres and 800 metres, on a World Championship stage.

2016[edit]

At the 2016 Rio Summer Paralympic Games, Cockroft won three gold medals, retaining her title in the Women's 100 metres T34 Final,[26] and winning 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] She broke the Games record in all three events. Upon her return home, she was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

2017[edit]

In 2017, Cockroft raced over the 1500 metres for the third time in her career, breaking the T34 World record with a time of 3.50.22. She now held the full set of T34 World Records for the first time. At the same meet, held in Arbon in Switzerland, she also demolished her 400 metre World record set the previous year at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and her 800 metre World Record, recording a new time of 1.55.73. In July, she returned 'home' to the QEII Olympic Stadium in Stratford to compete in her fourth World Championships. Although suffering from food poisoning the night before the T34 100 metre final, Cockroft powered home to take Gold in a new World Record time of 17.18 seconds. She also became World Champion over the 800 metres and 400 metres, making her a 10 time World Champion and the most decorated British Athlete in World Championship history. Cockroft was named British Sportswoman of the year by the Sports Journalists Association for her achievements. She was the first Paralympic athlete to ever win the award in it's 57 year history.

2018[edit]

2018 saw Cockroft's first defeat on the international stage. After topping the podium for 7 years, the 26 year old won silver in the T34 100m at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin. She then went on to regain her European Champion title over the 800m, after missing the event in 2016.

2018 also saw Cockroft take on a presenting role on popular British TV programme, BBC Countryfile.

Personal life[edit]

Cockroft left her home and training base in Yorkshire to study Journalism and media at Coventry University in 2013. She moved back to her home town of Halifax in 2016 to prepare for the Rio Paralympic Games. She has ambitions to work in television media after her athletics career.

In October 2014 she launched 17 Sports Management Limited ("17"), a sports management company.[29]

She cites Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc as her sporting inspiration.[30] Petitclerc, winner of 15 Paralympic gold medals and formerly coached by Eriksson, has been involved with Cockroft's development as a mentor and advisor.[31]

[32]

Hannah hates fish, and believes she may have ichthyophobia.

In March 2019 she appeared on a special Stand Up To Cancer episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.

Honours[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Personal Bests
Event Time Competition Location Date
100m 17.18 World Para Athletics Championships London, UK 14th July 2017
200m 30.51 Daniella Jutzeler Memorial Meet Arbon, Switzerland 4th June 2015
400m 57.73 Swiss National Championships Arbon, Switzerland 27th May 2017
800m 1.55.73 Swiss National Championships Arbon, Switzerland 28th May 2017
1500m 3.50.22 Para Athletics Grand Prix Notwil, Switzerland 3rd June 2017

Records[edit]

Event Time Competition Location Date
World records
200 metres T34 30.51 Daniella Jutzeler Memorial Meet Arbon, Switzerland 4th June 2015
400 metres T34 57.73 Swiss National Championships Arbon, Switzerland 27th May 2017
800 metres T34 1.55.73 Swiss National Championships Arbon, Switzerland 28th May 2017
Paralympic records
100 metres T34 17.42 2016 Summer Paralympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 10th September 2016
200 metres T34 31.90 2012 Summer Paralympics London, United Kingdom 6th September 2012
400 metres T34 58.78 2016 Summer Paralympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 14th September 2016
800 metres T34 2.00.62 2016 Summer Paralympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 16th September 2016
Hannah Cockroft's gold postbox in Mount Tabor, West Yorkshire

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team GB: Hurricane Hannah Breezes Into Final". Team GB. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  2. ^ "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Hannah Lucy Cockroft- Double World Champion". Facebook. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  4. ^ "IPC Athletics Records". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Cockroft wins first GB track gold". BBC Sport. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft wins second sprint gold". BBC Sport. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Rio 2016 Paralympic Results".
  8. ^ a b c d "Hannah Cockroft". Leeds Gold. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b Williams, Richard (31 August 2012). "Hannah Cockroft burns up the track to relight a flame at Paralympics". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  10. ^ "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  11. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (18 August 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft fears freeze on London's big stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Hannah Cockroft". London 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  13. ^ "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  14. ^ "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Cockroft wins first GB track gold". BBC Sport. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Hannah Cockroft wins second sprint gold". BBC Sport. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Another stamp for Hannah's second gold medal win!". Halifax Courier. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Location of Hannah Cockroft's second golden post box revealed". Halifax Courier. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Hannah Cockroft awarded Freedom of Calderdale". BBC News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Crowds welcome Hannah home!". Halifax Courier. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  21. ^ "Anniversary Games: Alan Oliveira world record, Jonnie Peacock PB". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  22. ^ "IPC Athletics: Hannah Cockroft and Aled Davies win gold medals". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  23. ^ "IPC Athletics: Hannah Cockroft secures sprint double in Lyon". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 22 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. ^ Hannah Cockroft launches sports management company
  30. ^ "London 2012 Athletes: Hannah Cockroft". ParalympicsGB. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Hannah Cockroft Q&A". Channel 4. Retrieved 10 September 2012.[dead link]
  33. ^ "Hannah Cockroft awarded Freedom of Calderdale". BBC News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  34. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 24.
  35. ^ "2013 New Year's Honours" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  36. ^ "Hannah Cockroft receives honorary degree". BBC. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  37. ^ "Degree of success for York St John". York Press. Retrieved 19 October 2017.

External links[edit]