Inspired to let fly

EMILY SPINK
Last updated 05:00 17/05/2014

What started with a movie and homemade arrows has become a more than 10-hour weekly commitment for a North Canterbury 12-year-old.

Oxford Area School's Rebecca Jones watched The Hunger Games last year and immediately set about becoming the next Katniss Everdeen - the heroine of Suzanne Collins' best-selling book trilogy, played onscreen by Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence.

"I just thought ‘Katniss is so cool', and I wanted to be just like her."

Since signing up with the AimTru Archers club over a year ago, Jones has won national and South Island titles. She has also broken a New Zealand record for clout shooting - a long-distance target event - in her age group.

In April next year, she will compete in her most exciting competition to date, after being named in the New Zealand 2014-2015 Archery Development Team that will represent the country at the World Cup in Arizona.

As an elite athlete, the year 8 student trains three times a week under the guidance of her coach, Petra Baker, who puts her progress down to natural ability and determination.

Rebecca uses her family's olive grove for target practice. With her own equipment, she no longer needs to use the twigs and bamboo sticks that she initially tried to make into arrows.

- The Press

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