TABLE TENNIS: Crawley's Jane Blackburn honoured for lifetime achievement

Jane Blackburn received a Lifetime Award for her services to Paralympic/wheelchair sport at the awards evening at the Inter Spinal Unit Games 2017 hosted by Wheelpower at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
Picture by: GEO Pictorial/George S Blonsky
Jane Blackburn received a Lifetime Award for her services to Paralympic/wheelchair sport at the awards evening at the Inter Spinal Unit Games 2017 hosted by Wheelpower at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Picture by: GEO Pictorial/George S Blonsky

Former paralympian Jane Blackburn has received a Lifetime Award for her services to paralympic wheelchair sport.

The award was presented by Wheelpower who are the main governing wheelchair body that is based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Blackburn’s first taste of disability sport came just months after she became a tetraplegic when she competed at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Amongst the several medals she won was a silver medal in the table tennis singles, the first of many to come.

A naturally gifted player, Jane, from Three Bridges, was undefeated on the table tennis table between 1972 and 1986, and was Paralympic Champion at four consecutive Paralympic Games – in Heidelberg 1972, Toronto 1976, Arnhem 1980 and at Stoke Mandeville in 1984.

Blackburn was an all-rounder in the days when athletes competed in multiple sports winning national and international medals in archery, bowls and swimming as well as her much beloved table tennis.

Her commitment to wheelchair sport has endured and after Jane retired from competing she played an active for both the Table Tennis Association and for WheelPower, coaching and managing many events as well as serving on the WheelPower Board.

Blackburn competed in five Paralympic Games, from 1972 to 1992, in the sports of table tennis, archery and bowls winning five gold, four silver and two bronze medals and was presented with the WheelPower Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her amazing career in wheelchair sport.