MORNINGTON archer Zach Tonizzo had great success at the Youth National Archery Championships at Armidale, NSW, 12-16 April.
As a member of the Frankston Archery Club he and teammates Jai Crawley, Elizabeth Ainge and Tian Mortimer brought home 11 medals: three gold, three silver and five bronze.
Zach, 17, came second in Target in under-20 Male Recurve; third in Field and third in Short Range.
Asked what he enjoyed most about the tournament he said: “It’s hard to pick a single event as they were all so much fun. It would have to be the field course because, not only was it fun, I shot with great people and finished with a personal best.”
Zach said he chose archery because of books he was reading at the time. “I thought it was really cool,” he said. “I’ve kept it up because of the joy it’s given me, and the friends I’ve gained since starting.
“I’d love to compete at a few world cups, and, hopefully, the Olympics. I also aspire to claim a medal for Australia from a world event.”
The teammates competed in four different categories over the four-day event. Two different target competitions included one similar to the archery at the Olympics and the other a field event where archers follow a course through a bush setting to shoot at 24 targets – a bit like golf.
Another event category was Clout where archers shoot at a long distance target pegged to the ground. Each category requires considerable practice and skill and archers must be accomplished within their ranking to participate.
“We’re very proud of the achievements of our young archers and their commitment to endless hours of practice,” the club’s Katherine Mulheron said. “Each one has also shown themselves to be personable and encouraging of other archers.”
She said the Frankston Archery Club was fortunate to have archery “legend” Hans Wright OAM, Australian Archery Hall of Fame inductee, as a life member. “He gives freely of his time to mentor other archers – including these four teenagers. Hans is also very proud of their achievements,” Ms Mulheron said.