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Hannah Cockroft

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Full name  Hannah Lucy Cockroft
Name  Hannah Cockroft
Country  Great Britain
Coached by  Peter Eriksson
Sport  Wheelchair racing
Event(s)  100 m & 200 m T34

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Nickname(s)  Hurricane Hannah Pippy Long Stockings
Born  30 July 1992 (age 23) (1992-07-30) Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Paralympic finals  2012 Summer Paralympics

Hannah cockroft pasha kovalev strictly come dancing sport relief special

Hannah Lucy Cockroft 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 and 400 metres in her classification. Competing for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she won two gold medals.


Hannah Cockroft Paralympics 2012 Hannah Cockroft defends classification

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Early years

Hannah Cockroft Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft to open Forget

Cockroft was born on 30 July 1992 in Halifax, West Yorkshire with cerebral palsy. 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. Her parents were told that she would never be able to walk, talk, do anything for herself or live past her teenage years.

Athletics career

Hannah Cockroft Cockroft storms to golden glory Paralympics Channel 4

Cockroft competes on the track as a T34 athlete.

Introduction to wheelchair racing

Hannah Cockroft Hannah Cockroft Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

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

Hannah Cockroft Why Are Female Athletes So Judged on Their Bodies

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. 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.

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.

Thompson went on to coach her for the first year of her career. 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'. She was subsequently invited to join the Great Britain Paralympic Team shortly after the Beijing Paralympics.


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


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


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. She broke the record again at the Swiss National Championships later that month, finishing in 17.60 seconds.

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. On 6 September, she won another gold medal in 200 metres T34 in 31.90 seconds, also a Paralympic record. 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. She was awarded the freedom of Calderdale at a homecoming event at the Halifax Piece Hall.


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

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

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.


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

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

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, the Women's 400 metres T34 Final, recording a new world record time of 58.78 seconds, and the Women's 800 metres T34 Final.

Personal life

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. She has also done work experience at Leeds City Council Sports Development.

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

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

She hates fish, and believes she may have ichthyophobia.


  • She was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Calderdale on 13 September 2012.
  • Cockroft was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours List for services to athletics.
  • In 2014 Cockcroft was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bradford.
  • Corporate sponsorship

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


    Hannah Cockroft Wikipedia