17th September 1943 - 4th April 2019

After a traffic accident in 1968, Wilma Anic was a spinal patient at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. She became a Paralympic archery champion alongside her work as as a physiotherapist at the hospital. She later worked in adult social care locally for many years.

Early Life

Wilma Jean Anic was born on 17th September 1943 in Glasgow. She was a model pupil achieving high grades and due to her passion for sport she aspired to be a physiotherapist. Her passions were skiing in the Cairngorms and in Norway as well as horse riding at the local riding school.

In 1966 Wilma qualified as a physiotherapist from Glasgow Royal Infirmary School and soon bought a horse with her first income.

During a traffic accident in 1968, Wilma suffered a spinal cord injury and was a patient at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

In 1970, Wilma was employed as a physiotherapist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and a year later she married one of her patients, the Croatian Sinisa Anic, who was also a wheelchair user. After marrying in Scotland, the couple moved to Zagreb where they remained for several years.

They moved back to the UK in 1978 and settled in Aylesbury. Wilma initially struggled to find employment as a physiotherapist, but a few years after returning she continued her position at Stoke Mandeville in 1981. Alongside her job she set up and ran Patient Information Groups at the Spinal Injuries Centre and introduced seminars and day courses for patient's relatives.

Wilma treating a patient at the NSIC, Stoke Mandeville.

Life as a Paralympic athlete

During her time working at Stoke Mandeville, Wilma took up archery and rediscovered her passion for sports. Many of her patients and family members remembered her bright spirit and her refusal to be defined by her wheelchair.

Soon she was selected for the British Archery Team, and she competed in countries all over the world including France, Belgium, Finland and America winning a number of medals.

Wilma competed at the Stoke Mandeville 1984 Summer Paralympic Games and four years later she was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Seoul 1988 Summer Paralympics.

In Seoul Wilma won a gold medal in the Women’s archery team alongside Joan Cooper and Karen Watts. Wilma described the Paralympic win as one of the proudest and most exciting moments of her life.


You can see Wilma's archery case on display at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital or visit the exhibition virtually here


  • Family Tribute to Wilma, from Wilma’s sister Fiona (NPHT Archives)