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Homegrown Olympian aiming squarely for gold at Tokyo

Mapleton-based Olympic archer Ryan Tyack is on track to clinch another spot on the world podium with the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics in July well underway.

The 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze medallist has secured a spot on the Australian archery team and has been training up to 45 hours a week, firing off an impressive 250-300 shots a day with Sunshine Coast Archery Club, located at Ballinger Park Sports Complex.

Tyack first discovered archery at age 10, when his mother insisted he get off video games and try his hand at a sport.

“I wanted to do archery or fencing because of the video game I played, so I nagged her, she rang the club and they had an open day that same day,” Tyack recalled.

“I was terrible but I loved it. The first coach I had told my mum not to bother bringing me back, I’ll never be good and to just give up.

“She didn’t tell me that, but after five years I was able to win a Youth World Championship and I achieved that from doing it again and again and again and working hard at it.”

While he lived and trained at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for four years, Tyack, 29, said he really enjoyed the facilities at Ballinger Park Sports Complex.

“It doesn’t have the flashiest technology but it has a lot of things other clubs don’t,” he said.

“The basis of our venue has been the same since 1997, back then we were the only club in the country that had a shaded area to shoot under. That made a huge difference in the summer.

“We also have an indoor facility, when it was built we were the only one in Queensland to have one.

“Providing archers what they need is important and that’s what Ballinger Park allows. It’s also really peaceful and serene here with the trees and the birds in the background.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting athletes’ training preparations, Tyack has not been left unscathed.

“It’s been a really unique lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics but we’ve all had a chance to train longer together which is great,” he said.

“We were meant to go to Thailand in March, Guatemala in April and China in May but those plans were scrapped.”

Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said it was terrific to see a local club using local facilities and produce an Olympian.

“We are so proud of Ryan’s achievements and will be cheering him on loudly like the rest of the country come July,” Cr O’Pray said.

“We have many sport complexes and community facilities that sporting clubs and community organisations across the Sunshine Coast utilise to their full potential, which is great to see.”

In the meantime, training itself is almost a full-time job for Tyack.  

“You do sacrifice a lot of time, my main day job was doing public speaking in schools but that slowed down slightly with Covid. Any support would be very welcome,” he said

For more information on Sunshine Coast sporting facilities visit council’s website.

Sunshine Coast Archery Club is a not-for-profit sports club dedicated to fostering all aspects of archery. If you are interested in trying your hand at archery book in for a Saturday morning session between 9am-noon at 176 Ballinger Rd, Buderim. Bookings are essential. For more information phone 0408 727 255.

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