2010, English, Sound, Interview, lecture, talk
Libby Kosmala interviewed by Nikki Henningham in the Australian Centre for Paralympic Studies oral history project [sound recording].
Kosmala, Libby, 1942- (Interviewee)
Libby Kosmala (nee Richards), born in Adelaide, talks about her disability; learning to walk; her parents not treating her as someone with a disability as a child; her schooling; her wheelchair; secretarial training; working at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and later the Royal Adelaide Hospital; taking on the Adelaide City Council in the late 1960s about parking for people with disabilities; getting involved in sport, learning about wheelchair sports; social activities; Kevin Borden; Wheelchair Sports Association of South Australia; attending but not participating in the National Wheelchair Sport Championships (1964); participating in the Brisbane National Championships (1966), her success with medals in fencing, field events, swimming, wheelchair racing and archery; Wally Miller; John Rein; Adelaide Archery Club; the development of archery as an open sport at the Olympic Games, rules that permit wheelchair sports people to compete in open Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship Competition; South Australian Rifle Association; adding shooting to her sporting repertoire; winning her gold medal for shooting at the 1976 Paralympic Games; her paralympic career, success at National Championships 1968); going as team secretary to the games in Israel (1968); Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh (1970), her medal tally; her love of competition, her enjoyment of meeting and socialising with people with disabilities from around Australia; the importance of able-bodied supporters and promoters to the strength of the team; her first sports' wheelchair, stolen in transit to Germany (2003) for national championships, borrowing a chair from other athletes; getting a 'new' wheelchair adapted to her needs as a paralympic shooter; Australian Paralypic Committee (APC).
Kosmala discusses what makes a good shooter/archer, mental aspects of the sport; the need for endurance to handle the rigours of competition; Paralympic Games in Arhnem, Holland (1972); Paralympic Games in Toronto, Canada (1976); meeting her future husband, Stan Kosmala; the classification process at Paralympic games; Paralympic Games in England (1984); guns, rifles; the qualification process for the London Paralympic Games (2012); Heather Turnbridge; the challenges of combining work, family and sport; the benefits of motherhood to a sportswoman; competing in Sydney Paralympic Games (2000); the excellence of the Beijing Paralympic Games (2008); the changing attitudes towards athletes with disabilities; receiving the South Australian Institute of Sport scholarship; Ken Cunningham; fund raising and financial support; the International Year of the Disabled Person (IYPD)(1981); Spina Bifida Association; the importance of sport in shaping people's attitudes and improving the lives of people with disabilities; important people in the course of her career; Yvonne Hill; Morialta Rifle Club, Adelaide; her memories of the National Wheelchair Games; Miro Sepic; Commonwealth Games; the politics (international and gender) of shooting; the difference between attitudes at a club level and international level; reflections on her leadership in her sport and contribution to the paralympic movement.
Recorded on 8 April 2011 in Klemzig, S. Aust.
Timed summary (9 p.)
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