Yorkshire-born wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft MBE is to launch her own sports management company.
Ms Cockroft is a double World and European champion and also a gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympic games in London.
She is the world record holder for the T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. But despite her storied career she said she has had many unpleasant experiences with managers and agents. This spurred her on to launch 17 Sports Management Limited.
“There are some good management companies out there, but there are also many that are not so reputable,” says Ms Cockroft.
“I want to be able to help fellow sports people avoid the pitfalls and traps that I fell into. I want them to benefit from my unfortunate experiences.”
It is a joint venture between Ms Cockroft and Ian Byres - who has been working with her for two years.
He will lead the business whilst she continues to compete, the 2015 World Championships and Rio Paralympics in 2016 not too far off on the horizon. They are joined by Boo Matthews who spent five years within a WPP-owned marketing agency and will be leading the marketing for 17.
The focus of 17 will be to manage both developing and established sportspeople. Dealing in everything from contract negotiations to travel and logistics.
Mr Byres said: “I believe in creating the right environment for the client, to allow them to compete to their maximum ability, taking on the responsibility for all off track activities to free them to focus on their training and competing.”
Ms Cockroft, who will maintain an advisory role in the business said: “The team at 17 have extensive business experience and I know that our clients will benefit from this along with my understanding of competing at the highest level.”
The reason why she chose to name the company 17 is because 17mph is the optimum speed a T34 female wheelchair athlete like Ms Cockroft can reach.
It is a speed that she has only achieved on a few occasions - most memorably during the London 2012 100m finals.