Year 11 student, Sophia Redgrove earned a silver medal recently at the Archery New Zealand 202o Nationals in the senior women’s division, shooting a 50 metre target. This outstanding achievement by Sophia is truly amazing given she is competing against women who have many more years of Archery competition experience.
Last year, Sophia proved herself to be a World Indoor Archery Champion in the Junior Female Freestyle division at the 2019 IFAA World Archery Indoor Championships. Now, at the New Zealand Nationals her score is only a few points off New Zealand and Australia’s top Archer and winner, 24-year-old Elizabeth Randall.
While Archery is her first love, the determined young athlete has a zest for all aspects of life. She is keen to challenge herself academically as well as in other sports. She is already studying Level 2 and Level 3 Mathematics and extension English and Physical Education. She dreams of one day becoming an Architect but is open to other possibilities, including a career in Sports Science.
“I want to go somewhere in my future and create a pathway where I am a role model for others as well as supporting people,” she says.
Sophia enjoys Futsal, Football, Athletics, Badminton, Hockey, Basketball and Hockey. Football, she says, provides her with a space where she can enjoy being herself without the pressures Archery can bring.
Competing in a high performance sport comes with challenges, particularly when it comes to managing nerves. Sophia credits her mentor and coach, Mark Collins, with helping her work on techniques to support her mental game. “There are so many different things I have learned through Archery. I have been discovering how to use my breath to be calm.”
Sophia says she couldn’t achieve her outstanding results if it wasn’t for her great support crew – her parents, her aunty, uncle, grandparents and her coach. Financial support is also essential for Sophia to continue to compete on the world stage. Sponsorship is needed.
The World Championships are not scheduled to take place in 202o, so for now, with NCEA ahead, school work will take priority. Sophia has four to five years left competing in the junior Archery divisions and hopes to compete in the Youth World Cups and in the future at the Commonwealth Games. Watch this space!