Wheelchair tennis star Jordanne Whiley says Dudley honour is just ace

"It is where I spent the first 18 years of my life – so to be recognised there is great."

Wheelchair tennis star Jordanne Whiley says Dudley honour is just ace

Those are the words of wheelchair tennis superstar Jordanne Whiley who has spoken of her pride after it was announced she is to be given the freedom of the borough in Dudley.

The 23-year-old from Halesowen has been recognised for her stunning success in the sport which has seen her claim the career grand slam in doubles as well as her first singles title at the US Open this year. She will be the first woman to receive the prestigious honour.

Jordanne said: "It was a complete surprise," she said.

"I feel like I am getting more and more recognition now Paralympic sports are on the map a little bit more. I'm hoping by Rio in 2016 some Paralympians will be household names.

"Before London nobody knew what wheelchair tennis was, now people are recognising what is."

And while she may have won a glut of trophies around the world, Jordanne said it was special to receive some recognition from home.

"It is where I spent the first 18 years of my life so to be recognised there is great."

Jordanne joins the likes of Sir Lenny Henry in having the freedom of Dudley and the star joked that she was ready to take advantage of the perks that come with it by getting a flock of sheep. Traditionally, people given the freedom of London had the right to drive sheep and cattle over London Bridge.

A packed schedule means she is competing and training during December before the start of the Australian Open in January. She said: "It will probably be February before I go back home."

Jordanne's father Keith said: "We're so proud of her and this is like the icing on the cake."

"No way did we think that one day she would be getting awards and then an MBE. It's amazing. I think this has brought home how much people in Dudley are getting behind her."

The former Earls High School pupil will become named the borough's first freewoman at a Dudley Council meeting on November 30.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News