Sun. May 26th, 2024

Armidale local Ella-Rose Carson will be jetting off to Ireland later this month to represent Australia at the World Archery Youth Championships.

Ella-Rose will be competing in the Under 21 Women’s category, with the recurve bow. Having grown up around archery, Ella-Rose started the sport at the age of 11 after being introduced to it by her father. Archery runs in the family, as both her father and grandfather (who is now her coach) also competed in the sport.

“My father is the reason I started archery in the first place.”

“He has been doing archery since he was about 12 years old and took it up because his father (Pa to me) competes in archery!”

“It’s a funny story because prior to this I wanted to be a ballerina and thought that archery was the most boring sport in the world! I love the relationship this sport has given me with him.”

“Armidale Archers held a ‘come and try day’ and I had been wanting to start archery, so it was a perfect birthday present.”

Archery as a sport has a wide variety of bow types and disciplines. Ella-Rose uses an Olympic-style recurve bow, with a draw weight of about 38 pounds. The draw weight determines how much force is required to draw the bow.

“Recurve is typically the bow type every beginner starts out on and the reason I decided to stick with it is because it is currently the only bow type recognised at the Olympic games – being my dream goal.”

Although Ella-Rose has been immersed in archery from a young age, her journey hasn’t always been easy. As a young person, she has had to juggle her sport with schooling, her work, and injuries. In 2022, she won the Australian Open, but suffered a strain in both shoulders, causing her to take a month off training.

“I had never in my life had more than a consecutive week away from training, let alone a whole month.”

“This time was for rest and recovery – however, when starting back shooting I had to start with 18 pounds to be able to safely build my strength back in my shoulders.”

“There have been many times where I have felt like giving up because my results weren’t where I wanted them, and that in itself has been a setback many times.”

During her HSC, Ella-Rose applied for the P24 Program, which is run by Archery Australia – the governing body for the sport. The P24 program fast tracks Australian archers who demonstrate the skill and commitment to be selected for the Australian team at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Unfortunately, Ella-Rose was not successful.

“When I didn’t get selected for the program I was so disappointed, and it made me question my efforts.”

“It ended up being a blessing in disguise. As we all know, HSC can be busy enough without the added pressure of being in an Olympic program.”

Ella-Rose graduated school in 2021, and since then has been dedicated to pursuing her dream.

“I decided to dedicate everything to my archery, delaying further study so that I could focus on my dreams and just work to make an income to fund the dream.”

This is not Ella-Rose’s first time representing Australia at an international level either. Earlier this year she competed in the World Archery Oceania Championships, again in the Under 21 Women’s recurve event, where she won 2 gold medals and 1 silver.

“I was the only female in my division from Australia who shot the qualifying scores for the event, which saw me against a couple girls from New Zealand in the same situation.”

“There were other countries there from the Oceania Region such as New Caledonia and the Samoan Islands, however, they didn’t have anyone in the Junior division,” she said.

The World Archery Youth Championships is on another level. While there, Ella-Rose will be competing against the top women in her age category from all around the world. She will be travelling with the Australian team, and they will be staying in accommodation together. In total, Ella-Rose says, there are around 20 people including management.

Her family will also be there to support her.

“My grandparents are going to be there as they are having a holiday at that time and made the youth worlds a part of that.”

“My boyfriend is making the trip about halfway through my week of competing and we will then have a little holiday after the event to celebrate.”

“We figured when paying this much for airfares, might as well make it worth it and explore a little afterwards.”

Although Ella-Rose is part of the national team, there are still significant costs involved with travel. Thanks to the help of the local community, Ella-Rose has successfully raised over $4000.

“With the support of some of Archery NSW, Armidale Regional Sports Council, Woolworths Australia and my archery sponsors, Abbey Archery, RevsRaps and Shrewd Archery, I have been able to fund the entirety of the event.”

“So thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that helped!”

In the future, Ella-Rose’s ultimate goal is to represent Australia at the Olympic games, but for now she’s focusing on one thing at a time.

“Focusing on one goal at a time is what is going to get me through! Right now, seeing how my experience at the World Archery Youth Championships go is imperative for seeing where my future will take me.”

Ella-Rose also has some advice for anyone who wants to try out archery.

“The best place to start archery in anyone’s circumstance is by approaching their local club. In our case, Armidale Archers is the place to go.”

Most clubs run ‘come and try’ days and beginners’ courses where anyone interested can start.

“My biggest advice would be – don’t go and buy your own archery equipment! Start first at a club and let the experienced members help you with your purchase. Archery equipment is not only expensive, but more importantly is specific to you.”

The World Archery Youth Championships run from the 3rd to the 9th of July in Limerick, Ireland.

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