Edgeworth teenager Josh Ford finally cracked the national title this year.
Then, buoyed by the effort, backed it up by capturing a gold medal at the 2016 World Field Archery Championships at Wagga Wagga this month.
The 15-year-old has been shooting for six years and was instantly drawn to the sport when he first picked up a bow and arrow as a cub scout.
“I just had a knack for it and I went home and said to mum, ‘I have an interest in this’,” Ford said.
It was not until a year later that he went along to Boolaroo Bowmen Field Archery Club that he began to pursue the sport. He credited the help of the club coaches after claiming the world crown.
Ford has always been one for the outdoors and that is part of the appeal of archery.
“I just like being out in the bush,” he said. “And I like that I’m just not sitting at home.
“I like the social aspect of it too, you get to meet so many different people.”
The year nine student at St Paul’s High School, Booragul competes in the junior male freestyle unlimited division of field archery.
Freestyle unlimited is a target style of archery. It involves using a bow, release aid, moveable sight and scope to assist with shot accuracy. Field archers walk a course of varying terrain and shoot at 28 different targets for maximum points.
At the world titles he was 100 points clear of the next best shooter in his division when the competition was called off after three days due to the worst flooding in Wagga Wagga in 30 years.
He said he was quietly confident heading into his maiden world event after a strong performance on the national stage in Mudgee in June.
“I was pretty nervous before worlds but at nationals I beat the guy who ended up second at worlds so that gave me a bit of a boost,” Ford said.
“My main concern was two Indian competitors who I didn’t know anything about, so that was a bit daunting.”
Remarkably, Ford only returned to the sport in April after barely shooting last year due to a string of injuries.
He now has his sights set on competing at the next world titles in South Africa in two year’s time.