Te Anau teens make their mark

Sidney Spence (left) and Jack Light will compete in the Oceania Youth Championships in a grade above what they'd normally compete in. PHOTO: Claire Light

Two Te Anau archers have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Youth Championships.

Jack Light and Sidney Spence, who will both be 13 during the games, have been selected as part of the Oceania Youth Team heading to the championships being held in New Caledonia in July. The pair will compete in the Intermediate Compound Men's event.

Proud parent Claire Light said the intermediate grade was not where they'd usually be competing.

"They're shooting in a grade above their age; they'd normally be in junior."

Mrs Light said the pair got into archery through their love of hunting, and from there it has flourished into them being selected for the New Zealand team.

"They've been doing it three or four years... a huge part of it is they've come from a hunting background. They were self-taught and did it for a love of hunting."

What started as a hobby grew a bit more serious when they were able to travel to Invercargill each week of a term through Fiordland College to get more training.

"The Fiordland College opportunity of doing archery through them is probably what started them on the professional side of it."

Mrs Light said the pair hadn't competed in many competitions before their selection to the team.

"They went to a South Island event and did well there, and after the South Island event they had to do Oceania selection."

They both had to buy new bows as camouflage and hunting bows were not allowed.

The boys were already stuck into fundraising for the event by selling raffles, and had been lucky with sponsorship from Lions Clubs in the area and support from Fiordland Frontier Supplies, Mrs Light said.

The Oceania Youth Championships will run from Monday, July 9 through to Friday July 13.


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