SHARE
Archer Bruce Shuker will compete for world champion status over the coming months in various parts of the world. PHOTO: COLIN BURT

Bruce Shuker is taking aim at a world archery title.

Shuker, of South Canterbury, will fund his own attempt at world champion status in the senior men’s compound during a four-part competition, which starts in Shanghai, where it runs from April 23 to 29.

He will go on to compete in Turkey in May, Salt Lake City in June and Berlin in July, each for just a few days at a time.

Shuker (42) will return home to his job as as a data analyst at the Timaru District Council between each stage to help fund his trips.

If successful in those four stages, he will get a chance to return to Turkey again – another cost, but also another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m budgeting $20,000 to $25,000. The flights alone are $2000 to $2500 per event.

“From a funding point of view, New Zealand doesn’t have any, so it’s entirely self-funded down from the uniform, the works,” he said.

However, some help is at hand in the form of Shuker’s colleagues, who raised the funds needed to get him to the selection event in Rotorua last month.

“The team here overheard my conversation that I probably wouldn’t go,” he said.

Determined to help him, they held a casual clothes day and bake sale and raised about $800.

“It is nice [when you] have people believe in you and it works out.”

That same fundraising committee is now raising more funds for Shuker’s international endeavours.

It has applied for various grants, including to the RSM Trust, which has already given some money.

The committee will host a quiz night at The Sail on Wednesday.

A raffle is also being held with prizes from Michael Hill Jeweller, Speight’s Ale House, Peppers Bluewater Resort, Hot Tubs Omarama, Barkers of Geraldine and The Clinic.

Tickets are available from the council’s front counter.

“It’s quite an epic thing to do, the fundraising, and it’s awesome the generosity of people.

“It’s a dream for a lot of people to represent your country, but to have this wonderful support, it’s amazing and really humbling. It also puts a lot of pressure on,” he said.

“When I qualified it’s like, let’s make this happen and the mortgage might take an extra hit.”

He had not initially anticipated engaging in the world champion process this year.

“I was going to go up to Auckland for regular coaching [next year] and the year after that I was actually going to put my name forward for selection and get my name on the radar, but Archery New Zealand changed the rules of the selection process to match what other countries are doing.”

As a result, Shuker went to Rotorua for a selection event last month.

And, despite rough weather, the show went on with Shuker proving his worth as a New Zealand representative.