Calderdale’s double world and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft has given her backing to one of the borough’s brightest young stars.
The night after attending the Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony in Leeds - at which she was one of the ten shortlisted for the top prize - Hannah was the guest of honour at Todmorden High School’s year seven celebration evening at the town hall.
She awarded prizes to the winning students and also made a special presentation to teenage wheelchair table tennis player Megan Shackleton.
Hannah, 21, said: “It’s good to see that Megan is getting so much focus and support. That’s something that you really need.
“I had it when I started out. My school helped me. It’s the little things that really count.
“If it’s something that she loves, she just needs to keep doing it.
“I truly believe that she will get to my position because the whole community will get behind her and help her to become a champion.”
Megan, 14, is being tipped as a rising star in her sport.
She competed in her first international competition last month and trains on a weekly basis with the Great Britain squad in Sheffield.
Melissa Wells, learning leader at Todmorden High, said the school will do all it can to support her.
“Megan is without doubt a rising star,” she said.
“She is juggling an incredibly promising sporting career with a bright academic career - she is predicted to get A*s and As in her GCSE exams.
“She wants to be special academically and in her sport.
“There’s every chance she will be there on our TV screens in Rio.
“We want to support Megan all the way.
“I’m sure she will become a household name just like Hannah in a few short years. That’s what we all wish for her.”
Megan said: “It’s amazing meeting Hannah.
“She is such an inspiration for people like me.”
A festive fundraising day at the school raised £400 towards Megan’s training costs.