Hannah Cockroft MBE is a
23 year old athlete who was
projected onto the world stage
after she won two gold medals
for the 100m and 200m at the
London 2012 Paralympic Games.
She broke four Paralympic
records and was awarded an
MBE in 2013 for services to
What schools did you attend and what
lessons did you enjoy most?
I attended Ling Bob Nursery School, Wainstalls
J&I School, Holy Trinity Senior School and Sixth
Form and Calderdale College. I am now a part
time student at Coventry University.
When I was at school, my favourite lesson was
definitely music. I would spend my break times
in the music room, with friends, singing around
a piano or having my violin lessons. I loved it
and got an A* in my music GCSE.
When I moved onto sixth form it was no longer
a lesson choice, so I studied drama, English
was my favourite
subject out of the
three. In college I
studied for a Sports diploma, as it was a subject
I had been unable to study at school or in sixth
form due to health and safety reasons and now
I’m at university, I am studying media and
What were your aspirations as a child?
As a child, I probably went through all the usual
girly career options. At 3 years old, I wanted to
be a ballerina, not the best career path for a
girl that could barely stand up! Following that,
pop star was a strong favourite along with an
actress or princess! In secondary school though,
I was interested in joining the police force. I
completed my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award,
in which I completed a course with the Police.
As part of it I learnt how to use speed cameras,
toured the Police station, rode in a Police car
and was taught how to take fingerprints. It was
a great experience.
Did you have any inspirational teachers and
what impact did they have on you?
It was a teacher at school who actually first
got me involved in wheelchair sports. Mrs
Daniel was my PE teacher and she also ran the
disport team in my secondary school. When
I was in year 8, Mrs Daniel managed to get
the local wheelchair basketball team to come
and do a demo in school and the rest is history
really! Had she not invited the team in that
day, I might never have found a pathway into
What advice do you wish you had received
when you were at school?
I wish I had been told I could do anything I
wanted by more people than just my parents.
I had a childhood of people telling me things I
couldn’t do and only had my parents pushing
me forward to try my hand at everything. I
always wonder how different things might
have been had I been introduced to wheelchair
sports, earlier. I’m now racing against 14 year
olds who have been competing for the same
amount of years as me. At their age, I didn’t
even know wheelchair racing existed so I missed
some valuable years of training.
What job did your teachers think you would
be best suited for?
I have no idea! I think they all knew that my
aim was to be famous, but no one, including
myself, knew how I would get there. I definitely
don’t think anyone would have guessed athlete
What is your role/job now?
I am a professional athlete, a double Paralympic
champion, seven-time world champion and
double European champion in wheelchair
racing. I am a member of the Great Britain
Paralympic Athletics Team, and a student at
To read more about Hannah’s inspiring journey and her involvement with our
“Don’t Quit, Do It” campaign, please visit www.irwinmitchell.com/dont-quit-do-it
Join in the conversation @irwinmitchell #DontQuitDoIt