Monday, 30 March 2015

A new S12 100m Backstroke World Record for Hannah

Woking swimmer Hannah Russell set a new World Record whilst competing in the British Para Swimming International Meet in Glasgow at the weekend. Hannah, swimming in the S12 100m Backstroke Final, broke her own World record by 1.5 seconds as she touched in 1:06.15. "I was really happy and I'm a bit shocked, I was really pleased that everything came together" said Hannah. "Working with my coach Rob Greenwood at the National Performance Centre in Manchester we've managed to nail it in the final when it mattered most. It's been all about perfecting the little things in that race. I know that I have the speed but it's about getting it all right" Hannah added.

The 100m Backstroke World Record was the icing on the cake for Hannah, who won four medals at the meet, including gold in the 400m Freestyle, she also set a new British record in the 100m Freestyle. National Performance Director Chris Furber described Hannah's performances as "exceptional".

The meet held at Tolcross, which last year staged the Commonwealth Games, were the trials for the IPC World Championships which will be staged at the same venue in July.

 "To achieve the World Championships qualification standard was fantastic, to go to my second World Championships is very special" said Hannah, "it's now time for a week off and then a return to training to ensure that I am in the best shape possible come the Worlds in July".

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Hannah - catching up with myself

Well, since being back from my winter training in Australia and the competitions in UAE, I have been crazy busy!

I'm just finding some time to catch up and see what I have been up to in the few weeks I have been back.

I was honoured to be invited to speak at The Queen's Club Patrons' Dinner in London along with World and Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu at the beginning of the month. I had only been home a couple of days, so I really hoped that didn't show with my speech!


I then really enjoyed taking part in a panel discussion with some other inspiring women at the offices of KPMG in London and also attending the Womens Sport Trust photographic exhibition there to promote interest and awareness of women in sport, there was even a photo of me!

Other things that have been going on are meetings with some potential sponsors and I've taken part in something that is still top secret but was great fun. All will be revealed soon on that matter!

I'm really grateful to to my team at 17 Management for keeping me organised and making sure I am where I am supposed to be when its busy like this. Now it's a change of focus and back to the training.
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Monday, 16 March 2015

Kelly wins Bronze in Morocco

Telford judoka Kelly Edwards (24), won a bronze medal in the Casablanca African Judo Open at the weekend. Kelly who represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, competed in the Under 52kg category in Morocco, winning three of her four fights against top level international opposition.

Kelly, a member of the Wrekin Star Club who trains at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall said; "I'm really happy to have won a bronze medal at the African Judo Open. It was a tough, long day and it was particularly challenging as I had to compete without a coach present, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage. As I have to self fund my competitions I could not afford for him to come".

Kelly added "This medal is for everyone who has helped and supported me, the coaches and support team at the Centre of Excellence and my personal coach Gareth Mapp. I would particularly like to thank the Telford AGA shop for their financial support which enabled me to be able to fund and compete this weekend". 

"These international competitions are incredibly important for me to gain further experience and accumulate Olympic Games qualifying points, which I need to be able to achieve, to represent Team GB in the Rio Olympics next year". "It would be great if I could get a sponsor or two to help me meet my training, competition and travel costs, so that I can realise my full potential”. If anyone is interested in sponsoring Kelly, she can be contacted through her website

You can also follow Kelly on Twitter and Facebook

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

2012 Paralympian Julie, signs with 17

Up and coming Bedford athlete Julie Rogers has signed to be represented by 17 Sports Management Limited, the sports management company founded last year by World, European and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft MBE.

Julie (16) a pupil at Bedford Modern School, represented Team GB in the London 2012 Paralympics when she was just 13, as a member of the sitting volleyball team. Julie was born without the tibia and fibula in her right leg and at the age of 2 had her leg amputated through the knee. Then followed a further amputation when Julie was 5 so that she could be fitted with a more advanced prosthesis. Having competed at London 2012, Julie is now taking on a new challenge in the world of athletics, as a T42 sprinter. After just one season in athletics Julie is already ranked Number 4 in the world at 100m. She is now training hard with her coach Allen Adamson at Bedford International Stadium and studying hard for her GCSE’s before the 2015 season begins. In 2015 Julie will be looking to qualify for the Senior World Championships in Qatar this November and put herself in the selectors thoughts for the Paralympics in Rio 2016.

Julie said “I have set myself a goal to be the very best which, to me, means World and Paralympic Champion. In order to do that I understand not only the hard work I must put in, but also the need to have the best team around me.” She added “I’m really excited to be working with the team at 17, whose passion for sport equals my own and I know from speaking to them, they really want to help me achieve my ambitions”. 

Hannah Cockroft MBE launched 17 Sports Management Limited in October 2014 having had many unpleasant experiences working with agents and managers; 17 will focus on the management of both established and developing talent across all sports. "There are some good management companies out there, but there are also many that are not so reputable" said Hannah. "I want to be able to help fellow sports people avoid the pitfalls and traps that I fell in to. I want them to benefit from my unfortunate experiences and succeed in what they love doing, competing. I am delighted to welcome Julie to our team”. 

You can find out more about Julie by visiting her website and follow her progress on Twitter and Facebook

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Hannah Russell breaks World Record!

Swimmer Hannah Russell from Ottershaw in Surrey achieved a ‘double’ at the weekend when she broke the World S12 100m Backstroke record not once, but twice! Hannah, 18, a member of Woking Swimming Club, was taking part in a competition in Bangor, Northern Ireland, as part of her World Championship preparations and broke the existing world record during her qualifying heat and then set a new record by breaking it again in the final in a time of 1:07:73.

World and European Champion, Hannah, who competed at the London 2012 Paralympics aged 16 and won three medals, also won five medals at the 2013 World Championships and a further six at the 2014 European Championships; she said “delivering a world record performance whilst in a hard phrase of training has given me a lot of confidence with the national trials only a couple of weeks away. I am currently feeling strong and with the insight from my coach Rob Greenwood and the support staff at the National Performance Centre (in Manchester) I am excited to see what performances I can deliver come the trials for the World Championships this summer. The National Performance Centre as a whole has helped me enormously, and I can honestly say I am the fittest and strongest I've ever been before”.

At the national trials, Hannah will be looking to qualify for the 2015 IPC World Championships which are being held in Glasgow in July “following the success of the Commonwealth Games last year, I am looking forward to competing in Glasgow” said Hannah “the experience will be incredible”. “The Worlds are the last major championships before the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016 and they will be a good opportunity to show what I can achieve”. You can follow Hannah’s progress to Rio on Twitter and through her website

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Monday, 2 March 2015

Hannah warms up in the winter

The Christmas break seems a long time ago already as the start of the year has been all about getting ready for the long season ahead.

I've just come back from a six weeks spell of training and competition overseas, where I spent four weeks training in the warm weather in Perth, Western Australia. As the temperatures were climbing to over 40c during the day, we were often up at 5am and training by 6am, covering distances up to 16 miles per session, with plenty of gym sessions thrown in between too.

Perth is a great base for winter training, the weather is fantastic and there are miles and miles of cycle paths, so I can train safely. I did manage a little bit of down time, which gave me an opportunity to visit the city, the nearby port of Fremantle and some chill out time at the beach.

On the way back from Perth, I was lucky to be able to take an opportunity to visit Doha and look at the facilities and try out the track in advance of the IPC World Championships being held there in October. The temperatures there will probably be similar to that I had been training in, so hopefully I will get accustomed to it.

It was then on to the UAE and some races in Dubai and Sharjah. Having come off a heavy block of winter training and done no speed work as yet, I was very pleased to win all of my eight races, over all distances. I'm hoping the experience I gained racing in these dry dusty conditions will be invaluable come the World Championships.

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