Lifestyle change gives Cockroft perspective but familiar result

CHANGE has proven as good as a rest for Hannah Cockroft but the Yorkshire wheelchair racer believes her focus is finally back on track.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 26th August 2018, 6:59 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th August 2018, 7:05 pm
Hannah Cockroft: Drapes herself in a Yorkshire flag after victory in Berlin. (Picture: Ben Booth Photography)
Hannah Cockroft: Drapes herself in a Yorkshire flag after victory in Berlin. (Picture: Ben Booth Photography)

Cockroft has spent 2018 divulging into new areas of her life, with a crash course in TV presenting seeing her on the screens of BBC’s Countryfile.

This week saw her back in the familiar territory of the athletics track however, ending her time in Berlin with World Para-Athletics European Championship gold.

She was made to work hard for her T34 800m prize as team-mate Kare Adenegan pushed her all the way but Cockroft held on, avenging her fellow Brit’s success earlier in the week.

Saturday marked the two-year countdown until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with many choosing now as the time to ramp up preparation.

But the 26-year-old feels it’s her time pursuing other ventures that has helped the five-time Paralympic champion retune with her love of the sport.

“I never pictured myself going dolphin hunting, clay pigeon hunting and whatever else I’ve done, but I’m really enjoying these things,” she said.

“I’ve just tried to be a normal person a bit more, saying yes to things and relaxing a bit.

“Each year for the past six years it’s been about this gold and that world record and it gets quite repetitive, it becomes hard work and it’s been nice to step away with that and realise how much I do love athletics.

“It’s allowed me to grow, my friends can understand my life a bit more and I can understand theirs.

“To get this gold is nice but I thought it would be a lot more satisfying than it was.

“It is another season’s slowest time and I have done a lot of those at these Championships, which is not what I came here to do.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.