Para athlete profile: Neelam O’Neill
Name: Neelam O’Neill
Home Town: Auckland
Chosen Sport: Shooting Para sport
Eligible impairment: loss of muscle power
Health condition: spina bifida
Shooting has always been part of Neelam O’Neill’s life. From shooting cans and ice-cream containers with a slug gun at the age of 7, to competing in a national small bore high school competition for .22 rifle and now representing New Zealand on the world stage in air rifle and air pistol.
Neelam’s dream is to represent New Zealand at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. If she does, she will be the first woman to represent New Zealand in Shooting Para sport since Alison Smith in 1984, and first woman ever to represent New Zealand in air pistol at a Paralympic Games.
Neelam’s international debut was the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, where she won bronze medal in 10m SH1 prone mixed event and in the 10m SH1 women’s standing event.
Her hope is to inspire future generations of young women, so they too can discover the same passion and love she has for shooting, through sport.