Archer setting his sights high

by Kent Caddick

Rolleston archer, Ryley Griffiths, has taken a giant step forward on his journey to represent New Zealand at the Olympics.

The 11-year-old has just received his first call up to a national squad and will represent his country at the Oceania Archery Youth Championships, which will be held in Selwyn next month.

Ellesmere Archery’s home base at Osborne Park in Doyleston, where Ryley learnt his sport, will play host to the championships on March 10 and 11.

The Rolleston Primary School student, said it was special to get the call-up to the national team. “It is something I have been aiming at for a while,” he said.

Ryley fell in love with archery after shooting his first arrow at a ‘Have A Go Day’ event hosted by Ellesmere Archery in Southbridge, just over three years ago.

“We saw an article in the paper about the have a go and we went down, and it all started from there.”

Since then, Ryley has represented Ellesmere Archery at three New Zealand Nationals bringing home a large number of medals for Clout and Target events. Clout is distance shooting at a target lying flat on the ground, while target shooting is at upright targets.

He currently holds in excess of 15 national records. 

At the Oceania Championships he will be competing in the Under 15 division against archers much older than himself, however, Ryley isn’t fazed by that.

“While you are competing against other archers who may be shooting right next to you, the key is really about what you do.

“You can’t worry about what another competitor is doing, you have to focus on what you are doing. Archery is very much a mental sport.”

While he is looking forward to representing New Zealand at the Oceania Championships, he has loftier goals.

“My dream would be to represent my country at the 2024 Olympic Games.”

Ryley Griffiths is looking forward to competing for New Zealand at the 
Ellesmere Archery Club’s home ground in Doyleston

Following the Oceania Championships, Ryley will be heading across the Tasman in April to have another crack at the Australian Youth Nationals, a competition he competed at for the first time last year.

He is also hoping to earn selection into the New Zealand team for a Trans-Tasman International Event being held at the same venue in Morwell, Victoria straight after the Youth Nationals.