Halifax's Hannah Cockroft named disability sportswoman of the year

Hannah Cockroft award winner at the 30th anniversary Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards. Picture (credit Stewart Williams)
Hannah Cockroft award winner at the 30th anniversary Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards. Picture (credit Stewart Williams)

Halifax's Hannah Cockroft has been named as one of the winners of the the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2017 in association with Vitality

The paralympian was announced as as the disability sportswoman of the year at a star-studded ceremony at the Hilton London Bankside hotel.

The prestigious awards, now in their 30th year, celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures.

Broadcast live on Sky Sports, the awards were attended by short-track speed skater Elise Christie, ex-England rugby star Maggie Alphonsi, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, artistic gymnast Becky Downie, Tom Harrison (chief executive of the ECB), Liz Nicholl (chief executive of UK Sport), Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, former England cricket captains Nasser Hussain and Clare Connor, and popular TV broadcasters Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara.

Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times said: “We’re delighted to be able to honour the outstanding sportswomen of the UK in our pioneering sportswomen awards. The Sunday Times has been championing female athletes for 30 years, and these awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their achievements."

Hannah won three gold medals at the London IPC world athletics championships in July.

The wheelchair racer comfortably retained her three titles won two years previously in Doha – making her the most decorated senior British athlete in IPC world championships history.

The Halifax Hurricane was successful in the T34 100m, 400m and 800m – the same events she won at Paralympic level in Rio the previous summer.

The 25-year-old set world records in the 100m (17.18sec) and 400m (58.29sec). Her performance in the 800m (2:01.77) was a championship record.

Cockroft remains unbeaten at Paralympic, world and European level for six years. In total she has 10 world titles and five Paralympic golds.

Cockroft suffered two cardiac arrests at birth which damaged two different parts of her brain.

As a result, she has difficulty with balance and mobility, problems with her fine motor skills, weak hips and deformed feet and legs.

The judging panel of the 2017 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2017 in association with Vitality consisted of: Eleanor Oldroyd (SWOTY judging chair & BBC Radio 5 Live presenter), Jill Douglas (TV broadcaster), Alex Butler (Sports Editor, The Sunday Times), Ruth Holdaway (chief executive, Women in Sport), Chantal Scherer (Director of Marketing, Communications and Member Engagement, Sport and Recreation Alliance), Chrissy Fice (Brand Director at Vitality), Michele Hammond (‎Performance Adviser at UK Sport), Amanda Bennett (Director, FairPlay Enterprises Ltd), Kate Dale (Strategic Lead, Brand and Digital at Sport England) and Natalie Pinkham (Sky Sports F1 presenter).