Date and place of birth: 18/08/1968, Barnsley
Home town: London
Family: Mum, Dad and Brother
TT Class: 3
Current world ranking: 16
International debut: 2002, Sicily
Major titles: European team champion 2011
A bronze medal in London 2012 crowned a successful Paralympic debut for Jane but her participation in the Games had already realised one of her long time ambitions. Wheelchair bound from the age of 15 after breaking her back in a car accident, she had begun to play table tennis socially in 2000 and shortly afterwards when asked to name her goals in life she identified competing in table tennis at a Paralympic Games as one of them.
“At that stage I hadn’t even competed internationally, let alone won a match,” says Jane, “but the course leader’s response was: ‘If you can conceive it, you can achieve it’. Those words changed my life and from that moment I’ve drawn on every bit of experience in my personal, professional and sporting life to achieve my goal.”
Having made her international debut in 2002 Jane was selected into the GB Para squad in 2005 and represented England in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. “I read books on sports psychology and devised a plan, setting goals and steps to achieve them,” recalls Jane. “While natural aptitude or talent helps, success is determined primarily by the preparation we put in.”
Jane’s hard work and determination paid off and she won a team bronze at the European Championships in 2007 and 2009 and the World Championships in 2010. In 2011, with team partner and great friend Sara Head, she won the gold medal in the class 3 women’s team event at the European Championships. During the bronze medal match in London 2012 Jane drew on all her resilience to fight back with Sara from 2-0 down to win the bronze medal 3-2 in front of a cheering home crowd.
In 2013, Jane and Sara took gold in the team event at the Bayreuth Open in Germany and then put up another good performance in the women’s class 1-3 team event at the European Championships in Italy, taking the bronze medal. Jane began 2014 with two bronze medals in Slovenia and went to China for the World Championships with hopes of a medal in both individual and team events. Although she played well to reach the quarter-finals of the singles she and Sara could not produce their best form in the team competition and did not progress from the group stages.
Jane began the 2015 with bronze medals in the singles in Italy and Slovenia but had a disappointing European Championships, failing to progress from her group in the singles and losing out on a medal in the team event with Sara on countback.
“I think I have been consistent under pressure when it mattered in the singles,” said Jane, “particularly in the team event, and I can get a little bit of confidence from that. We need to put ourselves in a stronger position in the doubles and we know what we need to work on.”
A silver medal in the team event in Italy was a promising start to 2016 and Jane went into her second Paralympic Games knowing that only her very best would be good enough for another medal. “Representing GB at a Paralympic Games means the world to me,” she said, “it is such an honour and I’m immensely proud to be representing my country again.”
Sadly, Jane was unable to produce her best form and after going out of the singles in the group stages she and Sara Head were beaten in the quarter-finals of the team event by Italy.
Jane combines her table tennis career with her job as a research director for a market research company. “I was lucky that after my accident my parents encouraged me to be independent straightaway,” she says, “and that is how I’ve continued to live my life.”
Take 5 with Jane:
Sporting event you would most like a ticket for – Wimbledon final
Three famous people you would most like to have a drink with – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Michael Buble
Place in the world you would most like to visit – the Amazon
Any superstitions – if I win a match I follow the exact same routine for the next one, use the same toilet, listen to the same music etc
What’s on your ipod- club/dance music
and finally – Jane has a degree in Psychology from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro – group stages, women’s singles (class 3); QF, women’s teams (class 1-3)
Slovakia Open – QF, women’s singles (class 3); 2nd, women’s teams RR (class 3)
Slovenia Open – group stages, women’s singles (class 3); 4th women’s teams RR (class 3)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – silver, women’s teams (class 2-3); group stages, women’s singles (class 3)
European Championships, Vejle, Denmark – group stages, women’s singles (class 3); 4th women’s teams (class 1-3)
Bayreuth Open, Germany – QF, women’s singles (class 3); QF, women’s teams (class 3)
Slovenia Open – bronze, women’s singles (class 3); bronze, women’s teams (class 3)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, women’s singles (class 3); group stages, women’s teams (class 3)
World Championships, Beijing, China – QFs, women’s singles (class 3); group stages, women’s teams (class 1-3)
Slovakia Open – bronze, women’s teams (class 1-3); group stages, women’s singles (class 3)
Slovenia Open – bronze, women’s singles (class 3); bronze, women’s teams (class 1-3)
2013: European Championships, Lignano, Italy – bronze, women’s teams (class 1-3)
2012: Paralympic Games, London – bronze, women’s teams (class 1-3)
2011: European Championships, Split, Croatia – gold, women’s teams (class 3)
2010: World Championships, Gwangju, Korea – bronze, women’s teams (class 1-3)
2009: European Championships, Genoa, Italy – bronze, women’s teams (class 3)
2007: European Championships, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia – bronze, women’s teams (class 2-3)
Further results are available at: http://www.ipttc.org/players/women/jane_campbell/index.htm