Determined to scale the rankings to be World #1 and strike Rio Gold
Jordanne Whiley is a paralympic wheelchair tennis player, currently ranked GB #1 and World #5. Jordanne and her partner, Yui Kamiji, are ranked #1 in World doubles rankings, having won six Grand Slams out of the last seven.
Anyone watching Jordanne play (and win) at this year’s Wimbledon, and again at Bisham Abbey to kick-off our 30 day challenge, would immediately see all the signs of a world class athlete at work.
From the first point to the last, the evidence is there – the drive to win, determination to maintain consistently high quality, annoyance at even the tiniest errors and hunger to improve. Over and over, point after precious point.
In the last 18 months Jordanne has flown up the rankings, and is now pushing to gain entry to the World Top 4, which would immediately increase her chances of progressing further at every singles tournament and, in turn, support her ambition to reach World #1, as well as win Gold in Rio in 2016.
It’s obvious how much she loves the competitive environment, both as an individual and in doubles with Yui, and also how the intensity of her on-court play is in contrast to off-court personality. Friendly, warm, humorous and insightful, there’s so much more to Jordanne than the wheelchair tennis champion that many of us see.
In reality, there’s also a side to Jordanne specifically, and Wheelchair Tennis in general, that we take for granted.
Jordanne receives external funding support from a small number of sources, including theTennis Foundation, but it’s expensive to travel to global tournaments to compete for ranking points, and she cannot afford to fund her coach to travel with her. In fact, most often, Jordanne travels alone, to take on the best in the world plus their on-site coaching teams who will be available 24 hours a day to develop and adjust game plans, scout the other competitors while they rest/recover, and feedback to them after each match.
Even for Wimbledon Jordanne had to self-fund a coach to accompany her – at a day-rate of £250! For context, in the last 12 months she’s competed in over 25 tournaments, winning many but received less than £30,000.
And yet, she’s winning tournaments, knocking on the World Top 4 door, and continues to overcome more challenges every year than most of us would encounter in a lifetime.
Imagine if someone reading this could find a way to secure Jordanne a £20,000 sponsorship for a year. To be part of her drive to achieve #1 and Rio Gold. That’s the amount that would help level the playing field for Jordanne and would be a fantastic outcome of our #Thirty30WST initiative. Could you help make the difference?
In Jordanne’s own words:
“It was great to meet Tim and Julie today and to be the first stop on the #Thirty30WST challenge. Good luck to you both, it’s great what you are doing to increase awareness and support of womens sport. I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of fun see some fantastic sport and meet some amazing sportswomen on your journey” – Jordanne Whiley MBE
For the record:
Q: If you were a biscuit, which one would you be?
A: A Jammy Dodger – harder on the outside, much softer on the inside
Q: Which character would you be in your favourite film (The Wizard of Oz)?
A: Dorothy. Definitely. Always trying to help other people. And never giving up when faced with a challenge.
Q: 80’s music question – Duran Duran’s Rio or Spandau Ballet’s Gold?
A: Spandau Ballet. Gold is the ambition.
With thanks to Jordanne Whiley MBE, and Ian Byers of 17 Management.