Fish Insurance
Speak to one of our experts 0333 331 3770

Jordanne Whiley: “The UK has the best attitude to disability sport in the world”

While Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win grabbed headlines, there’s another Wimbledon champion whose name you might not be as familiar with – even though she’s the UK’s most successful female tennis player EVER. Jordanne Whiley retained her crown for the third year in a row in the Wimbledon wheelchair doubles, and talks to Fish Insurance about the year ahead, the UK’s attitude to disability sport, and more…

On her goals for the year…

Despite being just 24, Jordanne is already the UK’s most decorated female tennis player and a Paralympic athlete with an MBE under her belt to boot. Yet Jordanne’s record of achievement is showing no signs of slowing, and her sights are now set on the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

“It’s a big year for me,” she says. “Wimbledon introduced the wheelchair tennis singles for the first time which was huge, and we defended our doubles crown for the third year in a row. Wimbledon’s my favourite tournament because it’s so prestigious and it’s on home soil, so it’s pretty special.

“Then there’s Rio, I’m so focused on it because should be I peaking there and I really want to bring home a gold medal, and hopefully two!

“I won bronze in London which was amazing but to win gold would be something else. If I’m sat around the table having Christmas dinner at the end of the year and I can say I have a gold medal and a Wimbledon title then I’ll be so happy.”

On media coverage…
She’s one of the greatest British athletes of our generation, but Jordanne still isn’t a household name. Not that she’s bitter, but she would like to see more attention given to disability sport.

“I’m lucky in that I do get recognised for my achievements and I’m getting more and more attention from the media,” she says. “I’d like to see wheelchair tennis on television more though, that has to happen. Just like able-bodied athletes we rely on sponsorship and funding, but we can’t expect sponsors to come forward if we aren’t getting the media coverage.”

There’s also considerable disparity between the prize money awarded to disabled athletes and their able-bodied counterparts, but Jordanne’s view is considered.

“I don’t expect the prize money to be as much as it is for able-bodied athletes because wheelchair tennis isn’t as popular, and that’s how it works,” she explains. “It goes back to media coverage again though, because the more exposure something gets the more popular it can become.

“Disabled athletes should be able to earn enough from their tournaments to make a living and I know a few successful athletes who aren’t profiting, yet we work just as hard as able-bodied athletes and play a similar number of tournaments.

“That being said, I think we’re getting there. Wimbledon has just added more prize money and is the highest paying tournament there is, which is great.”

On the UK’s attitudes to disability sport…
With that in mind, we asked Jordanne about the UK’s attitude to disability sport as a whole, and her response is overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s the best in the world by far,” she tells us. “I travel the world a lot and I have friends from different countries so I’ve seen it all. A lot of my friends don’t get anywhere near the same support as I do, so I’m really proud of the UK for that.

“I think there’s a lot more interest in the Paralympics here than in other countries too. The other day I overheard two guys saying they were looking forward to the Olympics, and one of them said ‘don’t forget about the Paralympics, that’s going to be great too.’

“I’d never heard anything like that from strangers before and it made me smile. More and more able-bodied people are taking an interest in disability sport, and that’s fantastic.”

Fish Insurance is a proud sponsor of Jordanne Whiley.

For help, speak
to one of our team
call 0333 331 3770

A photo of a customer service employee.