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Paralympics star Hannah Cockroft spearheads university’s sporting successes

Hannah CockroftCoventry University sports scholars, including Paralympian athlete Hannah Cockroft MBE, have achieved some fantastic results in their chosen disciplines recently.

Hannah has enjoyed an outstanding start to the athletics season by setting new world records in the Women’s 100m and 200m T34 wheelchair races at the 2014 IPC Grand Prix in Switzerland in May. She also established a new world record at the 1,500m distance at the Bedford International Games earlier this month.

The 21 year old, who won Gold at the 100m and 200m distances at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, joined Coventry University’s sports scholarship scheme when she enrolled on its Journalism and Media course last year.
She is now focussing her attention on the racetrack before resuming her studies in the autumn. Her next competitive outing will be at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in San Mateo, California from 20 to 22 June.

Hannah’s fellow sports scholar Jaswant Shergill also has reason to celebrate. The 3rd year English student has just been selected to represent England in weightlifting at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.

Jaswant, 21, who is a GB squad member and current English Champion in the 62kg category, earned his place at the games after lifting an impressive 240kg at the English National Championships in February and achieving the same feat at the British Championships last month.

The University has three sports scholars competing in the World University Karate Championships in Montenegro towards the end of June as well. Michael Burke, Amelia Harvey and David Coope secured their places at the tournament following outstanding performances at the British University Championships in Sheffield in February.

Two other sports scholars, Erin Prior and Thomas Taylor, have also been selected to represent British Universities at the World University Archery Championships in Poland in July.

Coventry University’s sports scholarship scheme offers support to elite athletes pursuing academic qualifications and is designed to help them integrate high level training and competition around their studies.

The sports scholarship scheme provides dedicated assistance in the form of a cash bursary and a tailored range of support services including strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, sports psychology, sports nutrition, sports therapy, mentoring and flexible study options.

In light of the scholars’ recent successes, Coventry University sports development officer Tom Shakespeare said:

“Our sports scholars have done fantastically well in their chosen fields and I congratulate each and of every one of them. They are superb athletes and while they have achieved their successes through a combination of talent, hard work and dedication I’d also like to think that their accomplishments are testimony to the support and encouragement that they have received through our sports scholarship scheme.”

Tom’s comments were echoed by sports scholars Hannah Cockroft and Jaswant Shergill.

Hannah said:

“Coming to University as an elite athlete was never going to be easy but the scholarship provided some extra guidance and support to help me to balance my sport and study commitments.

“The staff work very professionally and dedicate themselves to the athletes to ensure that they can be successful in their studies but also continue to be in top form for their competitive seasons.”

Jaswant added:

“I am elated to have been selected to represent England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and am immensely grateful for the backing I have received from Coventry University. The sports scholarship scheme has provided me with an unparalleled level of support which has helped to make this possible. I’m training hard and looking forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games.”

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