Imagen
22820-Neelishma O'Neill photo

Neelishma O'Neill

Shooting

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
SH1

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Psychology, Science, Statistics - University of Auckland: New Zealand

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
Her passion for shooting developed through her step-father, as the two of them would shoot cans and other containers while on family camping trips. She began taking shooting Para sport seriously in 2012.
Why this sport?
"Shooting is a sport that requires precision, accuracy, concentration and a bit of chance. It's a rewarding feeling when you pull the trigger and shoot a 10.9 [the highest possible score on a single air rifle shot] even when you can't see the tiny white dot you're supposed to be aiming for. Plus I like doing a sport where I can beat the boys."
Club / Team
Parafed Auckland Shooting Club [NZL] / Carbine Club of New Zealand [NZL]:
Handedness
Right

General interest

Nicknames
Neelam (Facebook profile, 18 May 2022)
Hero / Idol
New Zealand Para shooters Allison Smith and Michael Johnson. (stuff.co.nz, 23 Apr 2019)
Injuries
She missed the 2018 World Championships in Cheongju, Republic of Korea, after undergoing elbow surgery following an arthritis flare-up that caused a loss of feeling in her hand. (stuff.co.nz, 23 Apr 2019; paralympic.org, 02 May 2018)
Awards and honours
She received the Spirit of Parafed award at the 2021 Parafed Auckland Awards in New Zealand. (Instagram profile, 01 May 2022)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (Facebook page, 24 Jun 2022)
Impairment
She was born with lipomyelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida. (stuff.co.nz, 23 Apr 2019)
Other information
COACHING
She has served as a coach at Parafed Auckland Shooting Club in New Zealand. "It's great seeing more women participating in Para shooting. I love that I get to help support them and encourage them to fall in love with shooting, just like I have." (stuff.co.nz, 23 Apr 2019)