World #1 kick-starts Radlett’s initiative to promote wheelchair tennis

World number 1 Jordanne Whiley

World number 1 Jordanne Whiley - Credit: Archant

World number one Jordanne Whiley has kick-started Radlett Tennis Club’s initiative to promote wheelchair tennis the in community.

Britain’s youngest wheelchair tennis singles champion – a feat she achieved at 14 – was the star attraction at the club’s open day, which was solely to promote disability tennis.

The club’s disability coach, Josh Dudack, said it was amazing to see Whiley up close in an exhibition match.

“Jordanne was incredible.She did Question of Sport the night before but she was happy to do [the open day],” he said. “She’s a big name and we were really happy to get her down.”

Radlett Tennis Club is looking to piggyback on the popularity of London 2012 Paralympics and get more people in disability sport. The first stage, the open day, was a great start.

“It went really well,” Dudack told the Herts Ad. “The numbers weren’t what we were hoping for at first but quite a few people turned up and it got louder as the exhibition game went on.

“The players really enjoyed it – they posed for pictures and tweeted about it.”

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He added: “We wanted to get people to witness wheelchair tennis, how fun it is and how high the standard is. People seem afraid to venture into it so we want to support and promote wheelchair tennis in the community.

“Wheelchair tennis is getting bigger and bigger since the Paralympics. It’s a good time to show people how fun it can be.

“The open day was a step forward – we’re definitley heading in the right direction. Hopefully some people will come back and try it. We’ll keep promoting and advertising it and hopefully get a few more professionals to come to the club.”

The next step is to go out into the community and promote the sport, which will possibly lead to regular coaching sessions.

“We also want to go into community centres and other places where people are interested in disability sport,” said Dudack.