Welcome to the real world

She dazzled the nation at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, taking home two gold medals.

But now Hannah Cockroft MBE, the world record-breaking wheelchair racer who has won five gold medals for Britain, fears she will become trapped in a cycle of unemployment once she is too old to compete professionally, joining the ranks of Britain’s 800,000 young people who are not in employment or training.

Her comments come amid wider concern that the champions of London’s 2012 Games are falling into uncertain futures, with many having little work experience outside athletics.

This is rather what happens to all professional athletes, isn’t it?

27 comments on “Welcome to the real world

  1. If all she knows is athletics then the solution is obvious. Athletics.
    Getting a coaching qualification and take up coaching. How much will a world record holder and 5 times gold medal winner be able to charge? More than minimum wage.

    There are coaches and there are coaches. One who has that much in medals and achievements can command a premium. She has done what many aspire to.

  2. “This is rather what happens to all professional athletes, isn’t it?”

    Not if they become an MP & then a peer & saddle London with the f*****g Olympics, it doesn’t

  3. Not to be unkind to the poor lady, but she has been a benefits junkie while an athlete, and now she’ll have to get used to being a benefits junkie now she’s not.

    As she is disabled, most of us won’t mind our contributions to a normal lifestyle for her, just as I (to quote one example) begrudge supporting a cadre of athletes to very little purpose most of the time.

  4. “Why would someone employ me? I have a CV that reads ‘played professional badminton for 10 years’.”

    that’s the spirit.

  5. She has spent the prime years of her life not acquiring any useful skills outside the track. She has nothing to offer any prospective employers except perhaps motivational speeches.

    And she is in a wheelchair.

    Tragic, but perhaps she should have made other choices?

  6. Having spent the last 10 years living off lottery or state handouts, it is only to be expected that they will cast around to see if there is another benefactor to keep them going for the next 25 years. There are after all very few disabled female presenters on Match of the Day.

    There was a time when even footballers were encouraged to learn a trade in case things didn’t work out.

  7. Speaking of the real world, perhaps she can expect to live on the High Hog at everyone else’s expense? Perhaps she can expect to rise and walk again. After all, our ruling class seems determined to defy common sense and the laws of nature at every other turn.

    For instance, I see in the paper two stories side by side. On the one hand the Northern Ireland Police Service – once a bastion of robust common sense on subjects such as the handling of terrorists – is warning that a kiss under the mistletoe is rape. On the other hand another story tells me that the SAS is going to lower its standards so more women can join up.

    As I keep saying, they seem determined to make ISIL look like the sane option.

  8. Hallowed Be,

    And that was only because she got funded by the lottery players.

    Almost no sport has ever made money. Football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf. Mostly for a tiny percentage of able-bodied men (although women’s tennis and golf has some value).

    This obsession with sport as a career is a catastrophe. It never was. Roger Bannister ran while he was studying to be a doctor. When he qualified, he quit. Footballers like Geoff Hurst played for a decade, then did a bit of coaching, then joined the insurance business.

    No-one gives a shit about your playing badminton for a decade.

  9. Wasn’t it Peter Storey, the Arsenal player, who did time for armed robbery ?

    The getaway car might prove a bit of a problem.

  10. Here in CH they’re very, very big on top sportsmen/women continuing the usual schooling / trade training on the side, exactly to avoid this kind of BS.

    The British “Follow your dream” nonsense that’s come over from the US is not exactly well-rounded thinking, whether it applies to going to an ex-poly to study something of no economic value, or giving absolutely everything else up to commit full-time to a minority-interest sport discipline.

  11. BiM4:
    The sheer amount spent on it to benefit a very select few is what worries me. There should be a parallel lottery with each ticket, one where 12 players win a place on the funding committee. We’ll see if they fund professional sportspeople in minor sports that noone watches then.

  12. Alex: it’s one of my little homilies that I grew up living a few doors away from a Sheffield Wednesday footballer, at the time the club paid for their players to go to college and learn “proper skills” so they would have a way of earning an income once their sports career was over. I seem to remember he became a vehicle mechanic.

  13. Hallowed Be,

    Never going to happen. Too much of a plaything for promoting elites values. Best thing to hope for is people switching to competitors like the Health Lottery or People’s Postcode.

  14. I taught a chap who played international rugby in his final year, broke a limb, and sat his finals in a cast. He got an upper second, no favours done. But rugby back then was, to a decent approximation, an amateur game.

  15. @So Much For Subtlety, December 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    …For instance, I see in the paper two stories side by side. On the one hand the Northern Ireland Police Service – once a bastion of robust common sense on subjects such as the handling of terrorists – is warning that a kiss under the mistletoe is rape. On the other hand another story tells me that the SAS is going to lower its standards so more women can join up.

    As I keep saying, they seem determined to make ISIL look like the sane option.

    I saw those too – started banging my head on desk.

    I despair at the insanity & inefficiency of UK Gov’t, Politicians & Public sector.

  16. “once she is too old to compete professionally,”

    Soooo, sort of like:

    – too old to land those big acting roles;

    – too old to sing like you used to;

    – too old to tote that barge and lift that bale;

    – too old, like what happens to everyone eventually?

    Sheesh

  17. perhaps when she means can’t get a job , she means one not commensurate with her percieved status. Plenty of jobs available in call centres- she even brings her own seat. Probably not good enough for her.

  18. On the other hand another story tells me that the SAS is going to lower its standards so more women can join up.

    I think the SBS quietly dropped their requirement that one first had to be a Royal Marine do undergo selection, but still the vast majority of guys at Poole are former (or serving) bootnecks and have thus far escaped such nonsense. I suspect they’re quite glad they are smaller and less well-known than their Hereford cousins.

  19. The purpose of the Paralympic Games is to show us that they are not disabled. Now they make a special pleading because she is . . . disabled.

    She can write for the Guardian.

  20. Shes a proven champion -she likely has drive, grit, determination, love of the sport and contacts – coaching seems an option – she’s made the best of her circumstances so far, I can’t help think that she’ll find something, and I hope she does, and good luck to her.

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