Congratulations to Shooting great Libby Kosmala who has been inducted into the SA Sport Hall of Fame after winning 13 medals at 12 Paralympic Games.

Libby Kosmala was a reluctant participant the first time she was handed a rifle at a shooting range.

The SA Paralympic great was secretary of the Wheelchair Sports Association of SA in 1973, when she and president Kevin Bawden were invited to Dry Creek to try the sport.

But Kosmala, a swimmer at the time, was far from excited by the prospect, just three years out from winning the first of her nine shooting gold medals.

“I said to Kevin, ‘I know I’m secretary, but I don’t really want to start shooting, I’m not interested at all’,” Kosmala, now 77, recalled.

“He said ‘well we better go and have a look just to see what it’s all about’.

“So they gave me a rifle, they loaded it and gave me a target 20m away.

Paralympic great Libby Kosmala is set to be inducted into the SA Sport Hall of Fame. Picture: Sarah Reed
Paralympic great Libby Kosmala is set to be inducted into the SA Sport Hall of Fame. Picture: Sarah Reed

“I said ‘where’s the trigger and how do I hold the rifle?’

“But my first shot went straight through the middle of the target.

“When you keep winning with something, I suppose you stay with it.”

The unlikely introduction began a love affair with shooting, as Kosmala claimed glory at the 1976 Toronto Games and shone at another 10 Paralympics.

Her glittering career would be recognised when she was inducted into the SA Sport Hall of Fame at Adelaide Oval on November 22.

Out to celebrate the amazing Libby Kosmala former Shooting Australia CEOs from left Damien Marangon and Nick Sullivan and current CEO Luke Van Kempen
Out to celebrate the amazing Libby Kosmala former Shooting Australia CEOs from left Damien Marangon and Nick Sullivan and current CEO Luke Van Kempen

“It’s a very great honour,” said wheelchair-bound Kosmala, who also competed in archery, fencing and athletics on the international stage.

“It’s quite unbelievable and I was a bit stunned initially.

“The Paralympic movement has changed a lot in the 50 years that I’ve been involved.

Libby Kosmala at the welcome home reception following the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Picture: Tom Huntley
Libby Kosmala at the welcome home reception following the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Picture: Tom Huntley
SA Paralympian Libby Kosmala preparing to be the Australian flag bearer at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Picture: Mead Leon
SA Paralympian Libby Kosmala preparing to be the Australian flag bearer at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Picture: Mead Leon

“I’m really thrilled and delighted to represent it in the hall of fame.”

Kosmala’s Paralympic journey began in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1972, when she grabbed bronze swimming the backstroke leg of the 3 x 50m medley relay.

But she attended her first Games four years earlier, as secretary for the Australian team in Tel Aviv after missing selection.

“There were four South Australians … and they were all my great friends,” Kosmala, of Klemzig, said.

“When I wasn’t chosen to swim, they said ‘why don’t you pay your own way and come with us Libby’, so that’s what I did.

“I only had to do very little really, so I had lots of spare time to watch all our Australians competing and it was fantastic.

Libby Kosmala training for the 2004 Paralympics at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.
Libby Kosmala training for the 2004 Paralympics at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.

“After that I thought ‘next time, I’ll be in that team competing’.”

Kosmala remembered small crowds and basic facilities in Israel, including an outdoor basketball court and temporary accommodation blocks for the 750 athletes.

It was in stark contrast to her last Paralympic appearance as the oldest competitor at Rio 2016, when she was among 4342 participants from 159 nations.

But the grandmother of three had no plans to push for Tokyo selection next year, instead focusing her efforts on coaching the next generation of talents at Wingfield Rifle Club.

“I’ve done my dash,” said Kosmala, who still shoots in occasional local competitions.

“Now I want to get the young ones up to a level so they can compete for Australia.

“That’s my ambition and my aim.”

The original article can be read here



The Shooting Australia Awards of Excellence function took place in Sydney on Friday 8 November. Hosted by Master of Ceremonies Annabelle Williams OAM this event acknowledges the past year’s achievements from our Highest Performing Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Clubs, Teams and Volunteers, and sees the Ashley Adams Perpetual Trophy awarded to the Athlete of the Year.


Ashley Adams Athlete of the Year

 Presented by the recipient of the 2018 Ashley Adams Perpetual Trophy Vladimir Galiabovitch

The Athlete of the Year receives the Ashley Adams Perpetual Trophy, recognising the best and fairest athlete of a calendar year.

The winner of the 2019 Athlete of the Year Award and recipient of the Ashley Adams Perpetual Trophy is: Anton Zapelli.


Team of the Year

Presented by Vladimir Galiabovitch

The winner of the 2019 Team of the Year Award is: Australian Under 25 Rifle team.


Para-shooter of the Year

Presented by Nat Browne

The winner of the 2019 High Performance Para-shooter of the Year Award is: Anton Zappelli.


High Performance Athlete of the Year – Senior Male

Presented by Adam Sachs

The winner of the 2019 High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Senior Male is: James Willett.


High Performance Athlete of the Year – Senior Female

Presented by Adam Sachs

The winner of the 2019 High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Senior Female is: Laetisha Scanlan.


Target Sport Athlete of the Year Award Senior Male

Presented Clive Pugh

The winner of the 2019 Target Sport Athlete of the Year Senior Male 2018 is: Stephen Negus.


Target Sport Athlete of the Year – Senior Female

Presented by Deseree Baynes

The winner of the 2019 Target Athlete of the Year Senior Female is: Donna Negus.


High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Junior Female

Presented by Richard Sammon

The winner of the 2019 High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Junior Female is: Aislin Jones.


High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Junior Male

Presented by Richard Sammon

The winner of the 2019 High Performance Athlete of the Year Award Junior Male is: Mitchell Iles.


Target Sport Athlete of the Year Award Junior Female

Presented by Catherine Berry

The winner of the 2019 Target Sport Athlete of the Year – Junior Female is: Jacinta Bradley.


Target Sport Athlete of the Year – Junior Male

Presented by Piers Cambridge

The winner of the 2019 Target Sport Athlete of the Year – Junior Male is: Christopher Schwebel.


Coach of the Year

Presented by Petr Kurka

The winner of the 2019 Coach of the Year is: Tricia van Nus.


Official of the Year

Presented by Ray Andrews

The winner of the 2019 Official of the Year is: Sharon Reynolds.


Club of the Year 

Presented by Alan Smith

The winner of the 2019 Club of the Year is: Ipswich and District Rifle Club.


Volunteer of the Year

Presented by Alan Smith

The winner of the 2019 Volunteer of the Year is: Kerry Crlik.


SHOOTING AUSTRALIA: OSF Championships. November 3, 2019. Sydney, Sydney International Shooting Centre, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher; Shooting Australia

Australia claimed three Tokyo Olympic Games shooting athlete quota positions when South Australian teenagers Alex Hoberg and Tori Rossiter and Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch won Oceania Championship titles at the Sydney International Shooting Centre today.

The trio took giant steps towards fulfilling their Tokyo Games selection ambitions when winning the respective 10m Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle finals and the women’s 25m Women’s Pistol with Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS).

Coming into the Men’s 10m Air Rifle final ranked third, Hoberg displayed nerves of steel to claim an Oceania Junior record to narrowly defeat fellow South Australian Jack Rossiter by 1.1 points.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dane Sampson rounded off an all-South Australian podium when taking the bronze medal ahead of the New Zealand trio of Owen Bennett, Adrian Black and Shaun Jeffery.

Hoberg, 17, has been identified a rising shooting athlete since winning selection for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he was deprived of a medal after losing a shoot-off to India’s Ravi Kumar to be placed fourth.

The Wingfield Rifle Club shooter represented Australia at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Rio where he again narrowly missed a medal when placed fifth in the 10m Air Rifle.

Hoberg said he came into the Championship relaxed and confident of winning and claiming a Tokyo quota position for Australia.

“I had been shooting well in training, but I think I tried too hard in the qualification round. I kept telling myself that I could win and just do what I’ve been doing in training,” he said.

“Once I got into the lead after the first round in the final, my confidence rose and I managed to lead all the way,” he added.

“It’s a great relief to get a quota and I can now go into the 50m Three Position Rifle event on Thursday without any pressure,” he added.

Rossiter, 17, overcame a nervous start to overhaul Victoria’s Elise Collier and South Australia’s Emma Adams in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle . Her winning score was also a Oceania Senior and Junior record.

Rossiter managed 49.9 points after the first round and trailed Adams by 2.7 points.

“I realised I needed to pull my finger out, but I knew there was enough time to catch up. I knew if I could shoot at my best, that I could manage to win,” said Rossiter.

Like Hoberg, Rossiter represented Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Rio Youth Olympics, where she finished fourth.

Rossiter’s next immediate priority are her Year 12 exams which begins at Adelaide’s Woodcroft College on Tuesday.

Galiabovitch appears destined for her second successive Olympic Games when comfortably winning the Women’s 25m Pistol final in another all-Australian medal clean sweep.

South Australia’s Alison Heinrich captured the silver medal after surviving a shoot-off with Queensland’s Civon Smith.

Galiabovitch, a Melbourne doctor, entered the final as the hot favourite and provided the best medicine from the outset with a perfect five from five shots in the opening round and was never headed.

“I happy with achieving a quota position – that was the goal. I tried to not fixate about getting the quota as it can become distracting. I just tried to focus on myself,” said Galiabovitch.

“I didn’t shoot as well as I had hoped, but I got the job done and, importantly, we got the quota position for Tokyo.” she added.

Tomorrow will see the the Men’s and Women’s Skeet finals plus the Men’s 10m Air Pistol.

The Oceania Championships will run from 1 – 9 November at the Sydney International Shooting Centre in Cecil Park NSW. More information is available on the event website. Shooting Australia Facebook  and  Twitter  pages.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications



INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE: Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships. October 11, 2019. Sydney, Sydney International Shooting Centre, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher; International Paralympic Committee

All eyes will be on Para Shooting World Cup events in the United Arab Emirates and Peru next year following the conclusion of the 7 th World Shooting Para Sport Championships in Sydney.

Regarded as the best WSPS Championship ever staged, Australia completed the competition with Western Australia’s Anton Zappelli capturing a silver medal in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1 event, behind gold medallist Matt Skelhon from Great Britain.

The other Australian highlight was ACT’s Scottie Brydon breaking the world record when qualifying in the PT1 Para Trap event.

Australian Para Shooting National Team Manager, Kurt Olsen, said there were good results achieved within the team.

“The championship has given us a strong indication of where we are at present, compared to the rest of the world, and we know where we want to be in the future,” said Olsen.

“For the shooters, it’s now guns down and refresh with family and friends before refocusing on events in the New Year as we build towards the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games,” he said.

The next international event for the Australian para shooters is the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup event in Al Ain in the UAE in March.

Then the World Cup Americas Championship will be held in Peru in May where two Tokyo Paralympic quota positions will be on offer.

Para trap is not included at the Tokyo Paralympic Games and the next event for these competitors is the 2020 World Shooting Para Sport Para Trap Championships in Lonato del Garda, Italy, next September.

“We know there is great potential within the squad, and we know what we have to do to achieve the necessary results,” said Olsen.

The championship will live forever in the memories of all shooters and officials said Kelly Wright, Shooting Australia’s Head of Marketing.

“It was an incredibly successful event and was very well received and regarded by all who attended. Many competitors said it was the best-ever World Championship,” said Wright.

“The range was first class and Sydney and Australia looked great throughout the event,” she added.

“It was the first time vision impaired shooting was included in the World Championship and this event was amazing.

“Right from the outset, we concentrated on making sure the championships was athlete-focused. We made sure important areas such as hotels, transport and food were right.

“The athletes were very appreciative of the efforts of the Organising Committee and the behind-the- scenes work done by staff and volunteers.

“The athletes were very gracious, and the spirit of the event will live on for many years to come,” she added.

The Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships was held from 12-19 October. News and photos are available on the event website. World Shooting Para Sport Facebook and Twitter pages.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications



Canberra trap shooter Scottie Brydon set a new world record in qualifying but was unable to grab a medal in the PT1 Mixed Trap Seated final on day two of the World Para Shooting Championships at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.

Brydon was in hot form in the qualifying rounds scoring 113 points to eclipse the previous seven-year world record of 111 points.

INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE: Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships. October 13, 2019. Sydney, Sydney International Shooting Centre, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher; International Paralympic Committee

The gold medal was won by Italy’s Oreste Lai who defeated Finland’s Juha Myllymaki in a shoot-off, with Great Britain’s Allan Ritchie capturing the bronze medal.

Australian Shooting Para Shooting National Team Manager, Kurt Olsen, said Brydon should be proud of his world record despite being placed sixth in the final.

“He shot really well during qualifying but was unable to carry that form into the final,” said Olsen.

“He can chalk it down experience for the future. He will digest the day, learn, and move forward. But at the end of the day he shot a personal best and a world record, so he should be very proud of that,” added Olsen.

Melbourne’s Matthew Tingate also managed a personal best performance when finishing fifth in the PT3 Mixed Trap Standing final.

Italy’s Francesco Nespeca won the gold medal in comfortable fashion, but the silver and bronze medals were tightly contested.

Qualifying in third position, Tingate remained in medal contention, but slipped behind when shooting one of five targets in the third last rotation.
It proved to be an all-Italian podium with Nespeca’s team-mates Mirko Cafaggi and Emilio Poli winning the silver and bronze medals.

Olsen said Tingate was pleased with his performance. “It was his second-ever final and he is really developing fast. He set a PB in qualifying and continues to grow,” said Olsen.

Australia’s two other shooters on day 2, WA’s Duncan Burnett (P2 Mixed Trap) and Brisbane’s Mark Farrow (PT3 Mixed Trap) did not reach the finals.

The Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships run from 12-19 October. More information is available on the event website. World Shooting Para Sport Facebook and Twitter pages.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications


Victorian shooter Laetisha Scanlan has confirmed her status as one of the world’s best trap shooters when runner-up in the ISSF World Cup final in Al Ain, UAE, overnight.

The Frankston Australia Gun club shooter was edged out in the women’s trap final by USA’s Aeriel Alease Skinner with Italy’s Alessia Iezzi taking the bronze medal.

In a nail-biting final conducted in sweltering conditions, Scanlan held a two-shot lead after the first seven of ten rotations.

But Scanlan’s accuracy slipped in the eighth and ninth rotations when hitting three of five targets in each round, while the American shot two perfect rounds to snatch a two-shot lead going in to the final rotation.

Scanlan’s drew back a shot when Skinner missed her second target, but the American regained the advantage when Scanlan miss her third target.

“I came to the World Cup Final with the aim to medal for Australia and I am so proud to finish off the season with a silver medal. I’ve had a great 2019 and I am looking forward to a successful 2020,” said Scanlan.

Scanlan’s performance underlined her world class ability and now has her sights on the Tokyo Olympic Games in July next year.

Scanlan, 29, made her debut Olympic appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games alongside women’s trap teammate, Catherine Skinner.

Scanlan shot 10/15 targets to finish fifth overall while Skinner went on to win gold for Australia.

Scanlan is also aiming to secure Tokyo Olympic selection in the mixed team trap alongside James Willett.

Scanlan and Willett secured the mixed team trap title at the World Shotgun Championship in Italy in July when edging aside Russia’s Iuliia Saveleva and Maksim Smykov. The final result was determined in a shoot-off after both teams hit 44 targets in the gold medal match.

It marked a successful outing for Australia in an event due to make its debut on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020 following changes approved by the ISSF.

The ISSF World Cup Final Shotgun Al Ain, UAE runs from 09 – 14 October. More information is available on the event website. World Shooting Para Sport Facebook and Twitter pages.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications


INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE: Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships. October 12, 2019. Sydney, Sydney International Shooting Centre, NSW, Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher; International Paralympic Committee

Western Australia’s Anton Zappelli has come within a whisker of claiming Western Australia’s Anton Zappelli has come within a whisker of claiming Australia’s first gold medal at the 7th World Para Sport Shooting Championships at the Sydney International Shooting Centre tonight.

Shooting in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1 event, Zappelli finished with 252.9 points to be a mere 0.3 points behind gold medallist Matt Skelhon (253.2 points) from Great Britain, while Yan Taping (232.1) snared the bronze medal.

In a high-quality saw-sawing final, Zappelli led during the middle stages but was unable to withstand Skelhon’s strong finish.

Skelhorn’s victory confirmed his number one world ranking status while Zappelli entered the final ranked fifth.

Zappelli, a 2016 Rio Paralympian, was thrilled with his silver medal as he had to overcome equipment issues leading into the Championship.

“I was shooting really well in training and hoping for a top three finish, but last Friday my rifle went out of tune. And the issues started again in training yesterday, so my expectations were not all that high,” said Zappelli.

“However, it managed to hold together tonight, and I was very surprised with the result given the problems I was having,” said Zappelli. “The silver medal hasn’t quite sunk in yet ” he added.

Australian Para Shooting National Team Manager, Kurt Olsen, said Zappelli’s opening night silver medal was very pleasing.

“Anton shot really well and it is a great start to our campaign. It’s given the team a real shot of confidence,” said Olsen.

Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk outclassed Serbia’s Zivko Papaz and China’s Xing Huang to capture gold in the Mixed 25m Pistol SH1. Australia’s Chris Pitt and Rohan Daw finished 18th and 45th respectively.

In the other gold medal event, South Korea proved too strong for China and Ukraine in the Mixed 25m Pistol SH1 team’s event. first gold medal at the 7th World Para Sport Shooting Championships at the Sydney International Shooting Centre tonight.

The Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships run from 12-19 October. More information is available on the event website. World Shooting Para Sport Facebook and Twitter pages.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications