FOR Southland archer Ryan Jones, getting to the Madrid 2019 World Archery Youth Championships was a long shot. But earlier this year, he “somehow pulled out” a qualifying score.
At just 17, the James Hargest College pupil achieved an impressive score which landed him a spot on the world stage.
Already in Madrid, Ryan would take part in the World Archery Youth Championships from August 19-25.
Despite his aim to train six times a week, he never thought he would score high enough to make it, he said.
“Originally I wasn’t going to go for the worlds because I saw the scores and you had to beat a 660 [point score]. I said to mum it’s not something I can do.”
After competing in the Youth North Island Championships in Auckland, he achieved a 680-point score.
Ryan said while he hoped he would do well in the Madrid competition, he was just grateful for the opportunity.
“With all the support I’ve got, I want to go there and do well, but at the same time I just want the experience and to come back to Southland with a new goal, and a smile on my face.”
A member of the 2019 Academy Southland intake, Ryan couldn’t thank the organisation enough, he said.
“They’ve changed the way I train, they’ve helped me with mental skills and the nutrition side of things, so it’s all come together to form a single arrow.”
When it came to fundraising for the trip, none of it would have been possible without the “amazing” help from Southland businesses, he said.
From advice from his coach Tony Waddick, to being able to use the workshop where Waddick works for training after hours, engineering company J K Stevenson, he had a lot of support, he said.
“I’m also really grateful for CrossFit Wild South. The bows that we pull are loaded up to 26kg and that takes a huge toll on the body, that’s given me the strength to go forward.”
He also thanked sponsors Community Trust South, ILT Foundation, South Port NZ, The Southern Trust, JZ Archery Supplies, Sportsmed Southern Physio, and Southland Archery Club affiliates Sue and Max Walker.