Archery team brings home the gold

All focused . . . Roncalli College pupil Zac Campbell stays focused during the Trans-Tasman Challenge.

Many youngsters would have been relaxing during their April holidays but Roncalli College pupil Zac Campbell (15) was focused on competing at the archery Trans-Tasman Challenge and the World Archery Oceania Championships.

Zac said he took up archery as he thought it would be a cool sport to get into.

‘‘I started back in 2019 and have had to train hard to be able to compete in both of these tournaments.’’

Zac competed in the Trans-Tasman Challenge at the Ashton Oval in the Adelaide Hills, where he won silver in both the first target 720 competition and the individual matchplay.

In the two-person mixed matchplay, Campbell was paired with Isla Parsons and earned a bronze medal and in the three person mixed team, he, along with the other two of the top three under-16 New Zealand shooters, fought hard and won gold.

Team effort . . . The New Zealand Trans-Tasman Under-16 shooters (from left) Phoebe Newcombe, Isla Parsons, Jaeda Ala’alatoa-Dale, Thornton Wallberg and Zac Campbell competed in Australia.

Overall, the New Zealand team managed to claim the trans-tasman trophy.

Zac said he made lots of friends while over there.

After a few days, he competed in the World Archery Oceania Championships, where he t claimed a silver medal in the first double 720 target competition.

The final day was televised and he won both gold in the individual matchplay and the teams matchplay. ‘‘It took me a while to realise it, for it all to sink in. ‘‘It was televised. I wasn’t too pressured by it — it was cool. I was calm and chill. The pressure didn’t hit me.’’

The motto for the competition was ‘‘good vibes’’, Zac said.

‘‘I was using my bow as a bass guitar and was having fun. You could spot me doing lots of things aside from shooting.’’

Got the gold . . . The World Archery Oceania Championships Under-16 mixed team medal winners were (from left) Australian silver medallists James Azul and Tara Choo with New Zealand gold medallists Zac Campbell and Jaeda Ala’atoa-Dale.

It was isolating being in Timaru, as it included a lot of travelling and he was away from the other New Zealand team members, he said.

‘‘I have no competition here in Timaru.

‘‘I would like to have some competition as at the moment, I am just competing against my personal best.’’

His future plans now focus on qualifying for the 2025 World Archery Youth Championships that will be held in Canada.

But he has to step up the training, as he will be competing in the under-18s, which means shooting from 60m instead of 45m.

Everyone was really nice and he would like to see more people involved, he said.

‘‘It is a good idea to give it a go; I don’t know anyone who isn’t nice.

‘‘I’ve had amazing people who have helped me, like Geoff McGowan and club president and coach John Luxford.

‘‘At the competitions, it was pretty much like a family. I made so many friends.’’