Wheelie Good Season!

Nick Smith

What a season for our Leeds City AC Wheelchair Racing Team! Personal Bests and Medals Galore! If you didn’t know, Leeds has its very own Wheelchair Racing team. They are part of the very successful Leeds City Athletics Club who are based at the John Charles Centre for Sport. They are coached by Paul Moseley and Ross Bibby. The team caters for beginners through to elite international athletes.


The season started back on 5th February for 2 of our athletes. Michelle Howson and Kirsty Shepherd made the trip over the Pennines to Southport to contest in the Mad Dog 10k. This race was Michelle and Kirsty’s first ever wheelchair road race! Kirsty has previously run the event before contracting Lyme disease, which meant she had to spend some time in a wheelchair. Both of the girls smashed it! Michelle took top spot in the women’s race in a time of 45:15. 11 minutes later Kirsty crossed the line 56.31 to take 2nd. Job done!!


The first track meet of the season descended on the birth place of the Paralympic games, Stoke Mandeville. The British Wheelchair Racing Championships had a record entry of athletes entered. 3 of Leeds City’s athletes made the trip down. Nick Smith, Matty Hickling and the one and only Hannah Cockroft. Some great season openers for the Leeds trio. Hannah and Matty pushing close to PBs and Nick produced 2 illegal-wind assisted PBs in the 200m and 100m. The 100m time Nick pushed of 18.77 would have been a British record if it wasn’t for the illegal wind speed.


Next to stop was Switzerland. The same Leeds City trio travelled to Switzerland to take part in the Swiss Nationals and the IPC Grand Prix. The Swiss series of competitions are arguably the best competitions in the world, up to 300 athletes and absolutely rapid tracks! PBs galore!! Nick broke all of his PBs in the 100m, 200m and 400m. Matty the same plus the 800m. What’s better than a PB you ask?? WORLD RECORDS!! Hannah broke the world records in the 100m, 400m, 800m and the 1500m.


The group of athletes continued to train hard through the summer months. We welcomed 2 new athletes to the group. Josh AKA Fudge and Tom. Both athletes have quickly adapted to the sport and are really pushing the rest of the squad on.


The usual trio continued to compete through the UK, posting strong consistent performances! Matty managed to bag another PB in the 400m in Bedford at the English Champs.

Then it was the BIG one! The London 2017 Para-Athletics World Championships!!! The first time the Para and able bodied World championships have taken place in the same city. Hannah Cockroft did GB and Leeds City proud. What did we expect really?! 3 gold medals and a World Record in the 100m!!!


The group have had a 4 week rest and are now raring to get going again and get stuck into winter training.


If you want to find out more about the squad or keep up to date with what they do. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



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