Sydney University Archery Club members expanded their repertoire when they entered the recent Penrith City Archers Golden Jubilee Tournament.

The Sydney University archers were up against 120 competitors, including a number of state champions, representing 20 archery clubs across Sydney and NSW.

SUAC is a Target club, but the archers who competed at the Jubilee tournament were also called on to compete in Field and Clout events and they came home with a number of first and second placings.

As it was their first attempt in Target and Clout events, the SUAC archers were shooting from reduced distances to compensate for their status as beginner archers. Indeed, three of the four SUAC members only started the sport this year, while some of their competitors had been shooting for more than 20 years in their age bracket.

However, in Field all competitors shot the same reduced distance to balance out the skills and allow for a level playing field.

The SUAC team of Teresa Nguyen, Merrill Nguyen, Michael Hohll, Elizabeth Vleeskens and Matthew Page had never competed as archers before, but they each entered the three categories: Target, Field and Clout.

For the women’s compound, men’s and women’s recurve and barebow recurve the SUAC archers shot 20m in Target, up to 40m in Field (distances vary between 10m and 40m) and 100m for the barebow recurve and compound in Clout, and 125m for the recurve in the Clout.

Matthew Page shot the full men’s compound, with 40m, 50m and 60m in Target, up to 60m in Field and 180m in the Clout.

Men’s and women’s recurve and women’s and men’s Compound were the most competitive, with state titleholders competing alongside the SUAC archers.

Page said barebow was a very tough discipline due to lack of sights and other aids and the competitors were highly skilled.

Despite their newcomer status, SUAC archers posted some solid results:

Teresa Nguyen came 1st in the Open Women’s Barebow Recurve: Target, and 2nd in Open Women’s Barebow Recurve: Field;

  • Merrill Nguyen came 1st in Open Men’s Barebow: Target and 1st in Open Men’s Barebow: Field;
  • Michael Hohll came 3rd in Open Men’s Recurve: Target, and;
  • Elizabeth Vleeskens came 3rd in Open Women’s Compound: Clout.

Merrill Nguyen was forced to pull out after the first day of competition due to severe fatigue after shooting 180 arrows in his busy schedule of events. Each archer shot approximately 230 arrows during the two days of competition.

Page faced a very high level of competition within compound and missed out on a placing. But he did achieve a personal best at the 50m Compound Target with a score of 262/300, finishing one point behind the score of the 3rd placegetter in the Veteran Men’s Compound at that distance.

Meredith Greenham, a SUAC member last year, also competed and placed 1st in Open Women’s Barebow Recurve Field and 2nd in Open Women’s Barebow Recurve Clout.

Page, the SUAC president, said the inexperienced university archers had gone into the competition not expecting to win any prizes and to finish with a number of placings was a spectacular performance.

He was also full of praise for the Penrith City Archers, who were of great assistance to the Sydney University team.

“We do not provide Archery Australia membership with our membership which means we were not initially able to enter the tournament,” he said.

“However, I talked to the heads of the Penrith club and they were kind enough to offer temporary membership to all of our members who wanted compete so that they could get around this without having to pay a significant fee to get AA membership.

“Further, on the two days of the competition the Penrith City Archers team were very kind to our team, helping them find arrows, giving advice on how to shoot Clout and Field, giving further technical advice and generally making the team feel welcome at the club.

“SUAC definitely owes Penrith City Archers a huge thankyou.”