- Name: Julie Toomey, (nee Cosgrove)
- County: Galway
1. What advice would you give to our athletes who will compete at this years London Games?
Feel privileged that you have been selected to represent your Country and do your best, that’s all one can expect from oneself
2. Tell us more about your involvement with IWA Sport?
I first became involved in IWA sport while in secondary school. I would attend training sessions in Clontarf each Wednesday for table tennis, go swimming in Belvedere College each Monday evening, and then at weekends would go again to Clontarf to practice field and track events
I first represented my Country in 1972 in Heidelberg, Germany.
I competed in swimming, table tennis and in track and field events.
Initially the team was managed by Michael Quinlan and afterwards by Tony Keane. It was sometime later that Jimmy Byrne managed the team and I have to say he was a very fair, enthusiastic and exceptional manager.
There was a great emphasis on volunteers back then for example, the O’Moore family, Carmel Begley, the Saunders brothers etc to name but a few, all of whom made it possible for us to both practice and compete at the highest levels.
3. Have you competed in the Paralympic Games before?
1976 Toronto (won Gold in Table Tennis Team and singles event)
1980 Arnhem, Holland, (won Gold in Table Tennis Singles, Silver in Table Tennis Team event & Bronze in Slalom)
4. What sports did you compete in?
Table tennis, swimming, and track and field i.e. club
5. What was your biggest achievement or highlight of the Games?
My biggest achievement was being selected to represent my Country at the age of sixteen in Heidelberg
And one of the highlights I recall was having my then boyfriend (now husband) present to support me at the games in Holland.
6. What advise would you give to juniors hopeful of reaching the top?
To try and focus on the enjoyment that one gets from participating in sport and with meeting and making friends along the way. Reaching the top is great but trying to get there has its memories and experiences that one should also treasure
7. What are your hobbies and interests outside of sport?
Travelling, eating out, getting together with family, being with my dog Hollie, minding my grandchild Emma, meeting up with old friends and of course making new ones also