Young Achiever: Taking aim at his dreams
ZACHARY Aldred can still sometimes hear people from around the world chanting his name. It sounds like a dream, but it’s an experience he’ll never forget. At just eight-years-old, Aldred was the youngest competitor at the International Field Archery Association event in Argentina in 2012. It was the start of something special for the now 18-year-old, as he claimed his first world title after five long days of competition. “I remember sitting there in the group chairs with the Australian team and hearing them calling out my name,” he said. “I went up to get my medal and I did my little Gangnam Style dance at the front because I was so happy. “There was just a rush of excitement and joy.”
Aldred was introduced to the sport by his family and proceeded to follow in the footsteps of his dad Trevor and older brother Ethan. “I had kept seeing dad and Ethan come back with medals but I was never able to compete until then,” he said. “Then I had a medal just like them. Having said that, I was an eight-year-old shooting with a very short attention span, so it was very hard.” Aldred now has the same number of IFAA badges as his dad and brother after becoming the indoor champion in 2019 in New Zealand. The Twin City Bowmen Club member remains the current dual indoor and outdoor world champion and was on track at a shot at claiming the ‘golden triangle’ before event postponements due to Covid.
While he admits success at state, national and international levels have been rewarding, he finds the experiences just as fulfilling. “I get to meet a lot of different people,” he said. “I have a cap that a South African kid gave to me at my first worlds and all of the people I meet from different countries have national badges. Now I have a cap full of badges. “Up in my room I have a row of trophies. Each trophy is for different ages, but it’s continuous and that’s something that I’m very proud of.” The Trinity Anglican College student hopes to defend his two IFAA world titles in Estonia and England this year, and is willing to practice hundreds of shots a day.
Having watched his brother once nominated for the Young Achiever of the Year Award, he’s proud to have now reached the same feat. But he’s not satisfied just yet. “My brother and father both have two world titles, so I’d like to beat them,” he said. “One of the things I’d like to do is compete in more types of archery, like Olympic style. “It would take quite a bit to switch to, but if I can, I can
work to an Olympic level.”
Source – The Border Mail, 11.02.2022