Leisl Tesch Patron of Sailability NSW
Liesl Tesch, AM (born 17 May 1969) is an Australian wheelchair basketball player and sailor. She became an incomplete paraplegic after a mountain bike accident at the age of 19. She competed in her national wheelchair basketball team at five paralympics, winning three medals, and was the first woman to play the sport professionally. She took up sailing in 2010, winning a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. In 2009 Tesch participated in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Sailors with Disabilities. After seeing an SBS documentary about the journey, Beijing silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon contacted her in late 2010 and they formed a sailing partnership. Sailing the two-person SKUD 18 class with Fitzgibbon, the team had immediate success, winning gold at the ISAF Gold Cup in January 2011 and a bronze medal at the IFDS World Championships in July of that year. They won a gold medal with a race to spare at the London 2012 Paralympic sailing competition held at Weymouth and Portland. Tesch`s mother had died of cancer after her first day of racing at the games; shortly after winning the gold medal, she said it was `a beautiful way to celebrate my mum`s life to win gold on a beautiful sunny day at the Paralympic Games`. Liesl stood for the seat of Gosford in the 8 April 2017 By-Election, and is now a member of NSW State Parliament.