Lesli Mancktelow #62
Lesli was diagnosed at the aged of 14 with Stargardt’s disease, the child form of macular degeneration, which has no cure. As a result, she is gradually losing her central vision.
Lesli always loved athletics and as a young girl, competing at a regional level winning numerous medals for her local athletics club. After her diagnosis she registered with the Foundation of the Blind (today Blind Low Vision NZ) and began with Para athletics.
Lesli made her Paralympic debut at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games. Her main event was the heptathlon where she was ranked 2nd in the world. However, not enough Paralympians entered her classification and she had to compete in individual Para athletics events. Lesli won two medals: silver in the Women’s 100m B3 and bronze in the Women’s Long Jump B3.
Lesli also competed at the 1987 Pan Pacific Games held in Australia where she won an impressive tally of 7 gold medals.
After an injury in 1989, a long rehab and several family tragedies, her life took a very different turn with her becoming a Christian and her retiring from Para athletics.
Lesli lived overseas for several years and came back to New Zealand in 2006 to study counselling. She now works as a counsellor, workshop facilitator and conference presenter. The drive and determination she used during her Para sport career have not been lost and she continues to use those in her daily life.
Lesli received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Wellington in November 2020.