Whiley has had an impressive career so far. She claims seven grand slam titles, is the winner of this September’s US Open Women’s Wheelchair title, and was granted a MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen.
Like her father, Keith, she was also born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease). Keith took up wheelchair tennis as a hobby after retirement and went on to win a bronze medal at the 1984 Paralympics.
Whiley hopes to also medal at the Paralympics just like her father in Rio next year. She hopes to bring home the gold: “Very much so, I will try the best I can to win gold medals. I would love to win two [Paralympic] golds.”
“There are so many great Paralympians out there, achieving wonderful things, and for me to get this recognition I am so very honoured.”
Tracey McCillen, CEO UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA), commends Whiley on her success: “Congratulations to Jordanne on her award. We are delighted to see her successes recognised in this way. There is a distinct lack of female competitors in disability sport and sport generally. We see the same trend in sport for people with learning disability too. I hope by showcasing sportswomen in this way it will create a positive change so that we see more young women take up sport and excel to the very highest levels.”
Whiley also commented: “People who want to try [Disability] tennis should look up ‘Tennis Foundation’ online, they have loads of information on local events. They run beginner camps too which are fun, and also where talent can be spotted if you want to go that far.”
Opportunities exist in Tennis through to an elite level through a collaboration between the Tennis Foundation and the UK Sports Association to enable players to perform at the Inas European and World Championship programme, including the Inas Global Games. 2015 saw the Great Britain Tennis Team compete at the Global Games in Ecuador with GB returning triumphant with one gold, two silvers and three bronze medals.
For more information contact the UK Sports Association or Tennis Foundation.
Other SWOTY winners include:
Sportswoman of the Year- Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics)
Young Sportswoman of the Year- Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)
Vitality Women’s Team of the Year- England Hockey Team
Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration- Annie Zaidi (Football Coach)
Lifetime Achievement Award- Enid Bakewell (former England Cricketer)
Community Award- Liverpool Homeless Football Club