“It is amazing to be recognised alongside some incredible athletes.”
Para-table tennis player Will Bayley, wheelchair tennis’ Jordanne Whiley and recently retired para-alpine skier Jade Etherington are all in the running for the The Daily Mirror and Sport England Pride of Sport Awards in the disability sport category on Wednesday (3 December) in London, Great Britain.
London 2012 silver medallist Bayley has been shortlisted after winning gold at the ITTF Para-Table Tennis World Championships in Beijing, China, in September.
On his way to the world title, the 26-year-old defeated Germany’s Paralympic champion Jochem Wollmert in the group stages, Ukraine’s European champion Mykhaylo Popov in the semi-finals and Ukraine’s world number one Maksym Nikolenko in the final.
“I’m delighted to be shortlisted for this award,” said Bayley. “It is amazing to be recognised alongside some incredible athletes.”
After becoming the first non-Dutch woman, alongside Japanese partner Yui Kamaji, to win a calendar year wheelchair tennis doubles Grand Slam in 2014, Jordanne Whiley is also shortlisted for the award. Whiley enjoyed success at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open during a year to remember for the 22-year-old.
The final para-athlete to be shortlisted is Jade Etherington who, together with her guide Caroline Powell, became Great Britain’s most successful female British Winter Paralympian at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
The pair won silver in the women's downhill skiing, combined and slalom, and a bronze medal in the super-G. Etherington was also the British flag bearer at Sochi Closing Ceremony.
The Daily Mirror and Sport England Pride of Sport Awards celebrate elite performers, unsung local heroes and those who volunteer and devote their free time to sport across England.
After six weeks of public nominations a shortlist for each of the 11 categories was drawn up by a judging panel which included Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, England cricket’s Ashes-winner Simon Jones, Sue Day, the former England women’s rugby union captain, Sport England’s Tanya Joseph, Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, and Julie Whelan, CEO of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
The award ceremony takes place on Wednesday, December 3rd at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.