Marist College Kogarah Year 10 student Shaun Wang reflects on his love of the sport and new target – the 2020 Olympic Games.
But on 22 December, 2013 I decided to do it again, then to get a bow of my own to casually shoot before attending three lessons at the Archery Centre and joining the club next door.
Just before going home on the first day at the archery club a guy came up to me and asked if I wanted to be coached. After a few weeks of lessons, my new found coach asked if I wanted to go to Youth Nationals. At first I thought the idea was a bit too daunting, but after some consideration I decided to go.
After four months I jumped on board with the junior team and we flew to Adelaide. I never expected to win or anything, so I just shot my best and had fun. I began to train weekend after weekend using almost all of my spare time at archery training. It certainly paid off, as a few months later at the Indoor Nationals I claimed my first National and State medals, gaining first place. This achievement spurred me on and I trained even harder, almost never leaving the range during the holidays. I then set myself a goal – the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This sport has helped me to become stronger both mentally and physically.
During the latter part of the summer holidays this year I met someone who would open the hidden door to the wider archery world and show me that I actually had more potential than I thought. Her name is Elisa Barnard, who went to the 2012 London Olympic Games. She suggested that I participate in the Australian Open (not tennis!). I agreed, even though it meant having to shoot against adult archers, a select few who are Olympians and internationally known.
After weeks of intense preparation shooting with the senior team, I went to Hobart for what would be the best week I’ve had so far.
I ranked, surprisingly, in the upper third. After losing in the second eliminations match I stayed to watch the top-ranked archers in the country face off against each other. It was amazing and showed me what can be done when you put in the effort.
The tournament gave me a lot of experience and knowledge which I put to good use at the 2015 Youth Nationals [held in April]. This year was different to last year. Instead of watching people step onto the podium, I found myself on that podium, taking the gold home not just for myself but for NSW, which won the recurve division against the other states.
“This sport has helped me to become stronger both mentally and physically. It’s a great sport for anybody to try.”