Tiana Rongokea hitting her targets

By James Perry

Tiana Rongokea is one of a number of young Māori competitors at the NZ Archery Nationals in Ōtara.

What began as an opportunity to do and try something new things at school has turned into a passion, for the 17-year-old from Palmerston North. 

"They had a flyer going around that said the school was going to have an archery team and I wanted to sign up to that because it was something different," she says.

Of course, popular movies played a part in her developing a liking to the sport, "Narnia was pretty cool, seeing them shoot all those arrows."

Two years ago Rongokea decided to enter Archery competitions and she enjoys the atmosphere that surrounds the sport.

"There's a lot of good people in the sport, and a lot of the competitions are really cool as well. You get to travel up and down the country and around the world for some of us," says Rongotea.

Tiana Rongokea takes aim at the Trans Tasman competition in Victoria, Australia. Photo/Victoria Wassilief, NZ Trans Tasman Archery Team Facebook

Last year Rongotea was selected in the NZ Trans-Tasman team that competed in Australia. 

She says, "it was something different," and adds, "shooting there was really fun as well, in the hot weather."

She returned home with a silver medal in the mixed match play team recurve with Australia's Madeline Boyle, and a bronze in the individual cadet female compound.

Tiana Rongokea picked up two medals in Australia in 2018. Photo/Victoria Wassilief, NZ Trans Tasman Archery Team Facebook

The Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wehiwehi descendant is hoping to participate in the Olympic Games at some stage,

"it's always a dream, I think of every archer to go to the Olympics. Definitely, something to aspire to."