10 months ago

Spring/Summer 2020

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  • Murray
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In this edition we’ve gone Sport mad! To kick off we have inspirational interviews with Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Frankie Dettori. Nutrition advice from Arsenal’s James Collins and we go behind the microphone with Gabby Logan. We learn what it takes to get to the top from the next generation of sporting super stars. Along with holiday competitions, top beauty picks we have it all. Come and join our FREE club – the one-stop-shop for everything to do with ‘school and parent life’.

Hurricane HANNAH

Hurricane HANNAH Reigning World and Paralympic Champion Hannah Cockroft MBE is one of the UK’s best known para-athletes with a dizzying number of titles to her name and a reputation as a tough competitor When Hannah Cockroft explains how far her sport has come since she started wheelchair racing aged 15, she gives much of the credit to London’s 2012 Paralympic Games. There was so much focus and goodwill that recognition increased tenfold and as a result charities were able to get the funding and equipment needed to allow more access to the sport. Her own achievements must be part of the reason. She’s the holder of 12 World Champion titles, three European Champion titles, five Paralympic Golds and five World Records. Born in Yorkshire in 1992, complications at birth and two cardiac arrests led to permanent damage of her brain, resulting in mobility problems, weak hips and deformed feet and legs. She attended a mainstream school but wasn’t allowed to do sport there, “As the only disabled child in an able-bodied world I just accepted it”. Instead, with the characteristic determination which has led to her Hurricane Hannah nickname, she threw herself into the arts, played in the orchestra and sang in the choir. Then, aged 12, Cockroft Above: Hannah age five with her Share a Smile Becky doll – the first Barbie doll in a wheelchair! Right: Winning the T4 800m, at the World Para Athletics Championships 2019 - her 12th World title. discovered parasports and tried everything she was offered. Rugby, swimming, tennis and discus. Aged 15 she discovered wheelchair racing, and it clicked. “Competing independently is just my thing – I guess I like being in the limelight. Something I often think about when I’m outside in the freezing cold and could be in a sports hall, or even in sunny Spain where the wheelchair tennis team train!” Despite being told she would never live independently, Cockroft’s parents were determined to let her take every opportunity and, crucially, make mistakes. “The biggest moments in your life are when things go wrong.” She acknowledges it must have been hard for them to see her get hurt, but, “if you wrap kids in cotton wool they can’t learn”. Cockroft sees her parents as the driving force, taking her to different clubs for training and competitions. She has two brothers, one older and one younger, and says they joke that the trophy cabinet installed by their mother in the hall is a shrine: “Where are the pictures of us?!” Asked if she always had her eye on competing at an international level Cockroft says she never gave a second thought to where

PROFILE “You train on Christmas Day, miss family and friends when you’re abroad, and see parties on social media that you wish you’ d been able to go to. But how many people get to represent their country?” it might lead. It was a case of one race leading to another as a junior competitor, because how many people think that their hobby – and in her case, route to independence – will grow into a job? Aged 19 Cockroft was competing at senior level and found herself winning her first World Championships in New Zealand. Cockroft’s dedicated parents and two brothers were there to support, and it was “a massive moment”. What about the inevitable sacrifices? Cockroft smiles and says that when you are abroad competing you don’t get to see much outside the track but there’s this feeling from friends that you’re on holiday. You don’t get to sit on the beach filling yourself with ice cream, but competing, recovering, and eating the right things. What is a break is being away from the public appearances that are part of the job and the relentless training. She admits to not being great ›› SPRING/SUMMER 20 ★ 37