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Jordanne Whiley: Preparing for my journey

Q. What does your training schedule involve before an event?

JW: I normally train quite hard, from 10am until 4pm every Monday to Friday. In the week leading up to a big event the training is less intense and instead I play friendly matches against other players. I also make sure I eat healthily and get the right kind of foods for energy and recovery.

Q. What would we find in your suitcase when you’re travelling to an event?

JW: Obviously I need to take all of my tennis equipment which includes a lot of extra strings for my racket and a full set of tools in case my wheelchair breaks. I take three rackets with me every time just to be safe too. Hydration tablets are another essential, you put them in your drink and they keep you hydrated when you’re playing sport, which helps you to give your best performance.

Q. How organised are you when it comes to packing?

JW: I’d say I’m pretty organised, I usually pack about a week in advance because then at least if you’ve forgotten something you’ve got a week to remember what it was! When I was younger I used to make lists of what I needed to take and then check and double check but now I travel so regularly and I’m so used to taking the same things that it’s become second nature.

Q. Apart from the obvious essentials, what’s the one thing you wouldn’t want to leave behind?

JW: A plug adaptor! I always take my laptop, iPod and phone with me when I travel but I’ve arrived at my destination before and realised I’d brought the wrong plug adaptor so I couldn’t charge anything.

Q. Do you have any packing tips, eg how to fit everything in your luggage and stay under your weight allowance?

JW: I usually don’t have too much of a problem, mainly because I’m smaller so my clothes don’t take up too much room. My boyfriend (Jordanne’s boyfriend is fellow wheelchair tennis player Marc McCarroll) is 6 foot 2 so he struggles a bit! I always find myself going shopping when I’m out there though so I have to fit a lot more in on the way home. My tip is to roll up your clothes instead of folding them, you can squeeze lots more in that way.

Q. What are the main things you research about your destination before you fly?

JW: I always research what you can and can’t take in and out of the country, as some countries like America and Australia are very strict. I research the local food too as it can be quite different depending on where you go, so sometimes I’ll need to take food of my own. I’m travelling to the Japan Open soon and the food is very different there so I’ll pack things like cereal and nuts to take with me – but again I always check what foods I’m allowed to bring into the country.

Q. What other things do you need to consider / plan for when preparing for a journey?

JW: It’s important to get all your documents sorted in advance, like your travel insurance and Visa, Visas can take quite a long time so I organise mine as early as possible. It’s less stressful if you know you’ve got everything covered.

Q. What’s been your favourite country to visit / compete in so far and why?

JW: I love Australia – but I hate the flight! Once you’re there it’s amazing though, there’s so much to see and do. It’s also quite culturally similar to England which is comforting when you’re away from friends and family because you don’t feel quite so lost and awkward.

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