PARALYMPIC star Hannah Cockcroft feels she has been accepted into the Coventry community after picking up a top accolade at the tenth annual Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sports awards.
The 22-year-old, who won three gold medals at London 2012, took home the Higher Education Sportsperson of the Year award at the ceremony held at St John’s Hotel in Solihull last Thursday.
Cockcroft is currently studying a media degree at Coventry University and her recent recognition has capped off an incredible 12 months for the wheelchair sprint athlete who won double gold at the 2014 European Championships to complete the only major championship medal missing in her career.
She is now preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and said it was wonderful to receive her award.
“It has been a really difficult year – completing my first year at University, gaining my last title, learning a new race – it was a lot to take on board but I wanted a new challenge.” said Cockcroft.
“I have been working with Coventry University and they have helped me to balance the work that I have to do with my training. Sometimes it feels impossible but I think we have just about found the right balance.
“Hopefully, I will achieve two more gold medals in Rio and have a first class degree at the end of it. You have to think big and think that you can do everything in the world.”
England star and former Woodlands pupil Tom Wood was also honoured after picking up the Sportsman of the Year award and was commended for his captaincy during England’s victory over Argentina last year.
Other Coventry-based winners included PE Teacher of the Year James Elliott who works at Willenhall Primary School, Coundon Court Football Club which received Community Club of the Year and Coventry Sharkbite Handball Team which claimed Team of the Year.
The awards celebrate the cream of the sporting scene across the area including those who have made a tremendous contribution to sport at all levels.
A total of sixteen award titles were handed out on the night including categories covering both the professional and amateur fields as well as recognising the young and upcoming stars of the future.
Cockcroft and Coundon Court Football Club will also go through to the West Midlands regional Sports Awards, supported by the BBC, at Villa Park on November 27.