More often than not, the simplicity of the great outdoors combined with traditional methods will inspire us to achieve greatness.
Such a moment motivated Nuriootpa teen, Kyle Lewcock into the world of archery and set him on what has thus far been a three year journey, conquering all targets in sight.
Kyle’s initial introduction to archery came during grade five at Tanunda Primary School whilst attending a camp at the Wirraway Homestead.
After being given the opportunity to shoot a long bow at foam targets and two litre bottles, Kyle returned with a keen interest in archery and a yearning to become involved in the sport.
His mum wasn’t easily convinced, thinking it was a dangerous sport for children. Kyle however persisted and eventually wore her down.
Finally, at the age of twelve, Kyle was allowed the chance to participate in a beginner’s course at the Barossa Archery Club.
The experience confirmed his determination and enhanced his interest.
Fortunately, after witnessing the precautions and safety procedures established by the club, Kyle’s mum was put at ease and therefore allowed him to become a member.
The Barossa Archery Club joined the Archery Association of Australia in 1950, and is one of the oldest archery clubs in the South Australia.
The club currently has fifty-one active members aged from eleven to seventy-four, both male and female, all of varying abilities.
Kyle immediately presented real talent upon joining and has since progressed from strength to strength.
“All of the members have made me feel welcome,” Kyle says. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and guidance.”
Though, he began his early training with a recurve bow, he has since grown to favour a forty pound compound bow.
This year, at the age of fifteen, Kyle broke the club record for under 20’s intermediate cadet in July with a score of 651 or a rating of 96.4. The previous record was 645.
He is currently ranked second in intermediate compound archery in South Australia.
In his short time with the sport, he has also managed three “Robin Hood’s.”
The definition of which is, splitting an arrow that is already in the target with another arrow from the same location.
Recently, Kyle was selected to join the state junior team and was supposed to be participating in the national championships in Tasmania in April this year.
Sadly, the present state of the world prevented him from competing outside the state.
Meanwhile Kyle’s skills continue to grow and new ambitions arise.
Currently, Kyle’s personal goal is to earn an elite gold medal, which is attained by achieving a rating of ninety or above at least three times in a qualifying and ranking event in one calendar year.
All the while, his sights remain set on the National Championships.
“I enjoy learning the technique, precision, timing and patience,” Kyle says.
“But, what I like most about archery is being in the great outdoors.”
The Barossa Archery Club has scheduled shoots at Archery Road on Wednesday and Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. and Thursday nights at the Angaston Show Hall from 6.30 p.m. Guests are always welcome.
The club is also fortunate to have 24/7 access to the Archery Road ground, which allows club members access to train and practice when time permits.
In November, the club will be hosting the 2021 National Crossbow Championships.
They have also held World Postal events in the past, where competitors shoot the required scoring rounds and have their results sent into the international governing body, which are then entered into a data base to determine the overall rankings for those in the world who participated.
Members also participate in numerous state and inter-club tournaments, quite often enjoying success across different divisions/classes.
Beginner’s courses are offered four times a year. The next is scheduled for September 4.
The club also hosts “come and try archery” days, which they have done for the inaugural Medieval Fair in Tanunda for school children, work groups who are looking for something different to do, as well as Barossa Enterprises as part of their Community Options programme.
Kyle’s advice to anyone wanting to join the sport is, to have realistic expectations.
“It’s not a matter of just pulling the string and hitting a bullseye,” Kyle explains. “It takes patience and practice.”
Archery provides a great social and community environment where you get to meet a number of people from around the state, country or even the world and develop lasting friendships.
The main aim of the club is to introduce the fun and enjoyment of archery to as many people as possible, leading to the growth of the club and the sport in a safe, positive manner.