Liesl Tesch – teacher: cycling accident

"No mountain is too high"

Liesl Tesch

Liesl Tesch is a great example of overcoming a catastrophic injury.

A bike accident at the age of 19 left Liesl a paraplegic, but life did not stop. With her determined, positive attitude, she returned to university in a wheelchair, and found a way to continue participating in her passion for sport.

Employing the desire and skills which had previously seen her selected as a school and university representative sportsperson, Liesl was selected in the NSW and Australian 'wheelie' basketball teams.

Her paralympic success includes two silver medals and a bronze, as well as captaining the Australian Olympic Gliders in Athens and Beijing.

Liesl began her career playing in men's competitions and soon set to work establishing the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL).

After the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games she was invited to become the first woman to play professional wheelchair basketball in Europe. She competed for five seasons in Spain, Italy and France as the only woman playing in first division.

After 24 years and six Paralympic Games, Liesl changed sports from wheelchair basketball to sailing. It was a switch that surprised many, not least herself, but it was an inspired one because she made history by winning gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Liesl is a part of the Paralympian Speakers Program and will join us to share her personal story of her tragic accident and arduous rehabilitation, and the impact it had on her life and those around her.

Despite the difficulties Liesl faces daily as an incomplete paraplegic, she shares her story of motivation and a desire to overcome her challenges and contribute to society, not only as an athlete, but as an effective member of her community.