HONOUR: Ace year for tennis players is recognised
Disabled stars join mayor for lunch
HILLINGDON’S elite disability tennis players have capped off a successful year by joining mayor George Cooper for lunch.
Jordanne Whiley, Andy Lapthorne and Valerie Copenhagen were invited to the Civic Centre on Friday for a reception in their honour.
It was an opportunity for the mayor to express congratulations on behalf of the borough for their sporting achievements.
Cllr Cooper said: “It was wonderful to see such talented youngsters. Their level of commitment demonstrates beyond question their dedication to their sport.
“They are a credit to the borough and should be a role model to us all.”
Jordanne, from Ickenham, had an impressive season that included winning the first Grand Slam singles title of her career at the US Open in September and her first Super Series singles title at the British Open in July.
Now ranked number four in the world at wheelchair tennis, she was also made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
She said: “It was great to meet the mayor and have my achievements recognised in such a way.
“He made me feel very welcome and we had a very nice chat over some sandwiches.”
Andy Lapthorne, from Eastcote, who is preparing for December’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in London said the borough’s recognition was a ‘really nice way’ to mark the group’s achievements and ‘to promote wheelchair tennis and continue to raise its profile’.
Ruislip deaf tennis player Valerie Copenhagen said meeting the mayor was an ‘honour and great experience’.
She is eyeing success at the 2016 European Deaf Tennis Championships in Slovenia after making her international debut this July when she was selected to represent Great Britain at the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships.
Valerie added: “I’ve never made my deafness a barrier and having had this experience of meeting and talking with the mayor and the other players, I’m even more determined to train hard and play well.”
Marc McCarroll, from Ickenham, was unable to attend the lunch appointment due to training for next week’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters tournament, in California.
Mayor George Cooper individually meets (from left) Jordanne Whiley, Andy Lapthorne and Valerie Copenhagen
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