Northland's archers have made their mark on the world stage, picking up eight medals at the World Indoor Archery Championships in Wellington.
Ten archers from the local Mt Tigers Archery club travelled south to compete in New Zealand's inaugural hosting of the world indoor championships from April 8 to 12, which featured 10 other countries including India, Scotland, Estonia, South Africa and Australia.
In an extraordinary effort, all 10 archers finished in the top five of their respective categories, eight finished with a medal, with four winning gold. In addition to the medals, 15-year-old Kayil Ward-Ruddell has two pending world records from his gold medal-winning effort in the junior men longbow division.
The biennial event featured archers competing in compound, recurve or longbow styles of shooting during the week-long event. The Mt Tiger club was the second-biggest out of over 30 archery clubs in New Zealand with over 100 members, but the results still came as a surprise.
"Having 80 per cent of our archers who went down get a medal is a fantastic result," club publicity officer Lisa Ferris said.
"There's always an unknown because you may not know who you are competing against so it can come down to how you go on the day."
Ferris, who competed herself and won silver in the adult female bowhunter unlimited category, said it was great to see Ward-Ruddell do so well at a young age.
"For him, as a teenager, to win gold at a world event with two potential world records is absolutely outstanding," Ferris said.
"It's all about growing the sport from the youth up so for one of our younger members to shoot so well is outstanding."
While the club members performed well in competition, the club contained a larger proportion of social archers. With archery's profile growing off the back of New Zealand Olympic Games success and popular films like The Hunger Games, Ferris hoped more people would take up the sport.
"What we want to do is get some of those people who are playing team sports to give archery a go because it's such a focus-based sport, using brain power not necessarily physical power.
"It's about competing against other people and yourself so for personal satisfaction it far outweighs team sports and for people who may not be capable of team sports for whatever reason, archery is for everyone and anyone can participate in it at any level."
Archery as a sport contained both indoor and outdoor disciplines which varied slightly in the rules and actions archers did, such as moving from one target to the next when outside as opposed to only shooting one target as in indoor.
The club operated out of the Glenbervie area when outdoors and at Whangarei Girls' High School on Mondays and Wednesdays for indoor. Along with Mt Tiger, there are two other archery clubs in Northland in Dargaville and in Kerikeri, the latter of which starting just two years ago.
In October, the Mt Tiger club would be hosting the New Zealand field archery championships, which Ferris said would be a great advertisement for local archery.
"We are really excited to be able to host it and hopefully we will have a good hometown performance," she said.
For more information, visit the Mt Tiger Archers Facebook page.
World indoor archery championship results for Mt Tiger Archery club members:
John Cook: 1st - veteran men recurve
Trevor Irvine: 1st - senior men freestyle unlimited
Kayil Ward-Ruddell: 1st - junior men longbow
Phyllis Russ: 1st - adult female bowhunter unlimited
Lisa Ferris: 2nd - adult female bowhunter unlimited
Devon Tonks: 2nd - junior men bowhunter unlimited
Rob Ward: 2nd - veteran men longbow
Kaden McConnell: 3rd - junior men bowhunter unlimited
Lois Howe: 5th - veteran female freestyle unlimited
Wade Russ: 5th - adult male bowhunter unlimited