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    Hannah Cockroft

    Ones to watch
    Great Britain Great Britain Para athletics 30 July 1992

    Halifax, Great Britain

    Hannah Cockroft of Great Britain prepares to compete in the Women's 400m T34 at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.


    Human Interest
    Data Value
    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
    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

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