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COCKROFT Hannah
Sport Para athletics
NPC Great Britain   
GenderWomen
Age26
Place of BirthHalifax, ENG
Height1.45 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Classification
T34
Further Personal Information
Residence
Halifax, ENG
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, German
Higher education
Journalism - Coventry University: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began racing at age 15 at a Loughborough University talent day in England.
Why this sport?
"I like the ability to travel at speed as it isn't possible without my wheelchair. I like the speed, adrenaline and pure fun in the sport. "
Club / Team
Leeds City Athletic Club: England
Name of coach
Paula Dunn [national], GBR; Jenni Banks [personal], AUS, from 2013
Senior International Debut
Year
2011
Competing for
Great Britain
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Christchurch, NZL
General Interest
Nicknames
Hurricane Hannah, Han, Rocketwoman, Pippy Long Stocking [because she wears long striped socks and ties her hair in bunches when she races]. (Athlete, 06 Dec 2010; Facebook profile, 14 May 2017)
Hobbies
Watching television, reading. (paralympic.org, 08 Jul 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Breaking her first world record in 2010 in Knowsley, England. (paralympic.org, 03 Feb 2016)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (hannahcockroft.co.uk, 07 Nov 2014)
Hero / Idol
Her father, and Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc. (paralympic.org, 11 Oct 2015)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
Her nails have to match the colour of her kit. She has lucky underwear and socks, and also eats jelly before each race. (hannahcockroft.co.uk, 07 Nov 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Those afraid of pain will never know glory." (hannahcockroft.co.uk, 07 Nov 2014)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2017 Sportswoman of the Year by the British Sports Journalists' Association [SJA]. (telegraph.co.uk, 06 Dec 2017)

She was named 2017 Great Britain's Disability Sportswoman of the Year at the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year awards. (paralympic.org, 27 Oct 2017)

She was named 2015 Paralympic Athlete of the Year by the British Athletics Writers' Association. (athleticsweekly.com, 13 Nov 2015)

She was named the 2014 Paralympic Athlete of the Year by British Athletics. (uka.org.uk, 2014)

She was named the 2013 Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year by the British Sports Journalists' Association [SJA]. (Facebook page, 17 Aug 2015)

In January 2013 she was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE]. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)

She received an award for Paralympic Performance of the Year in 2010 and 2011 from UK Athletics. (Facebook page, 17 Aug 2015)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (yorkshireport.co.uk, 12 May 2018)
Impairment
She has cerebral palsy after experiencing two cardiac arrests at birth that damaged two areas of her brain. She has weak hips, underdeveloped feet and legs, as well as problems with mobility and balance. "Doctors told my parents I would never be able to do anything my whole life and wouldn't live past my teenage years." (independent.co.uk, 25 Aug 2012; dailymail.co.uk, 24 Aug 2012)
Other information
FUTURE PLANS
Having studied for a journalism degree, she wants to become a TV presenter: "That's still what I am interested in so I am just trying to grab the opportunities that I can with that at the moment and build as much of a network up as I can while still focusing on my athletics." (yorkshireport.co.uk, 12 May 2018)

FOOD POISONING
She suffered a bout of food poisoning while competing at the 2017 World Championships in London, England, but it did not prevent her from winning three gold medals at the event. (yorkshireport.co.uk, 12 May 2018)

WHEELCHAIR TRIBUTE
She has always given her racing wheelchairs names. The chair she was using in the lead-up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was named after a friend who died in April 2016. Her friend, Tahlia Banks, had cystic fibrosis and died when her body rejected a kidney used in a transplant. Banks' nickname was 'Tinker Bell'. "I lost one of my best friends last year so my chair is named after her." (rio2016.com, 16 Mar 2016)

END OF UNBEATEN RUN
Her seven year unbeaten run in the T34 class came to an end in September 2015, when she was defeated by fellow British racer Kare Adenegan in the T34 400m at the 2015 Grand Prix event in London, England. "With hindsight, it was the best thing that could ever have happened. It really shook me up...as I wasn't guaranteed to win for the first time in my career." (bbc.com, 29 Sep 2015; paralympic.org, 03 Feb 2016)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In November 2014 she founded her own sports management company named 17 Sports Management Limited. (insidethegames.biz, 04 Nov 2014; Twitter profile, 17 Sep 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
1 2012 100m T34 18.06
1 2012 200m T34 31.09
1 2016 100m T34 17.42
1 2016 400m T34 58.78
1 2016 800m T34 2:00.62
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2011 200m T34 33.72
1 2011 100m T34 18.98
1 2013 100m T34 17.88
1 2013 200m T34 31.78
1 2015 100m T34 17.73
1 2015 800m T34 2:07.10
1 2015 400m T34 1:02.66
1 2017 100m T34 17.18
1 2017 800m T34 2:01.77
1 2017 400m T34 58.29
European Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
1 2014 100m T34 18.53
1 2014 800m T34 2:15.16
2 2018 100m T34 17.95
1 2018 800m T34 2:14.21