Youngster on target

Confident: Rhys Pollerd travelled to Adelaide to compete in the Trans-Tasman Challenge.Photographs Tom Hayes




REPRESENTING your country, no matter the cause, is recognised as an honour around Australia.

That is what Traralgon’s Rhys Pollerd was able to do when he travelled to South Australia for the 2023 Trans-Tasman Challenge.

Rhys is a 13-year-old archer who competes in the under 14 compound bow division for Twin City Archers, in Morwell, and has quickly developed the skill of archery.

He was a part of a 33-person squad ranging from people, like Rhys, in the under 14 division, all the way up to under 21s.

As part of the Trans-Tasman Challenge, both Australia and New Zealand selected a junior team to go to the range and face off against each other.

Rhys treats archery as any other sport, training twice during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then competing on the weekends.

He explained how he found himself becoming interested in archery.

“I used to play hockey, and I quit that because it wasn’t really that fun,” Rhys said.

“So mum made me do a sport, so I picked archery.

“I’ve always wanted to do archery, now that I have the chance to, it’s worth it and very fun.”

Rhys was fortunate enough to get the news, and was stoked to know he could take his archery to the next level.

“It will be fun shooting, and getting to know people,” he said.

“It will be very fun, going to Adelaide for it.”

He cheekily admitted he was excited that he was able to skip school for the event.

Rhys believes he can continue to represent Australia on more occasions in the future, explaining one of his goals could be to reach the Olympics.

“I guess Olympics, but I don’t know because these types of bow have only been introduced into Olympics recently,” he said.

The bow type that Rhys uses is mainly used for Paralympics, but there is World Cup opportunities that he could travel overseas for.

“That’s quite possible, a long way down the track,” Rhys’ dad Scott Pollerd said.

Scott only got into archery about six months ago, but enjoys seeing his son become successful at it, and has taken a liking to it.

“We were pretty happy with Rhys coming along to Twin City Archers, their beginning program is pretty good,” Scott said.

“It will be great to see him putting on an Australian archery top and shoot with that on … that’ll be a bit of a buzz.”

Rhys’ coach Chris Bird was excited to see his student do so well and reach high heights so early into his archery career.

“It’s exciting to watch his growth and see where he has come in 12 months,” Bird said.

Bird is responsible for a lot of Rhys’ development, which has proved to work, considering his ability.

“We work on equipment set-up, technique, a little bit of mind management – setting up mentally, how to prepare for the pressure,” he said.

“We’ve done some things like competing at other clubs or events to help expose him to competition.”

The Trans-Tasman Challenge took place in South Australia from April 7 to 11, but results were finalised after this story went to print.

Stance: Rhys takes aim at the target.