Jordanne Whiley is Britain’s No.1 wheelchair tennis player, who picked up her first tennis racquet at just three years old.
Brittle Bone Disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) was not going to stop Jordanne, who has broken her legs twenty-six times, and she qualified for the Beijing Paralympic games when she was just sixteen. Jordanne then won a Paralympic Bronze medal in London 2012 for the women’s doubles.
During 2014 Jordanne became the first player in British history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments, taking the Australian, French and US Open wheelchair doubles titles as well as her home tournament, the coveted Wimbledon. In 2015 Jordanne won her first Grand Slam singles title, at the US Open, and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Jordanne had a difficult time throughout her school years as other children singled her out for being ‘different’. Being in a wheelchair, she wasn’t able to take part in the regular school activities so the kids would make things difficult for her in various ways. Admitting she had a lonely childhood, Jordanne found that playing tennis helped her grow in confidence and meet other people who understood who she was.
“Sport has helped me grow in confidence and appreciate that I have flaws. I’m proud of who I am and of the success I’ve had so far. I’m really in support of the Local Heroes campaign. If just one other person looks at me and is inspired to realise that whatever their own personal challenges, they can still be successful, then I’ll be happy as they will then become the role model to others themselves.”