Another first for Hannah

Paralympian Hannah Cockroft at the Piece Hall, Halifax
Paralympian Hannah Cockroft at the Piece Hall, Halifax

Halifax’s Hannah Cockroft has expressed her delight at winning the Sportswoman of the Year title at yesterday’s SJA British Sports awards.

The 25-year-old wheelchair racer collected her award from Patrick Collins, President of the SJA, at a ceremony at the Tower of London.

The awards, the oldest of their kind in Britain, have taken place since 1949 and “Hurricane Hannah” is the first para athlete to win one of the main awards.

Cockroft, who took her career tally to 10 world titles with three successes at this year’s World Para Athletics Championships, beat off competition from cricketer Tammy Beaumont and tennis player Johanna Konta to the award.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome beat boxer Anthony Joshua and swimmer Adam Peaty to win the men’s award, in a vote of more than 700 of the country’s leading sports writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters.

Cockroft, who was given an MBE in 2013, posted on Twitter: “British Sportswoman of the year 2017! Wow. The first para athlete ever to win this award in its 58 year history. Double WOW.

“Thank you so much for all the lovely messages and massive thank you @SportSJA for helping me make history with this vote! #ProudParalympian.”

Cockroft holds the Paralympic and world records for the 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres in her T34 classification.

She has not been shortlisted for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.