Sutton sisters have targets firmly in sight

Sutton sisters, Jessica and Emily, are dedicated to archery.
Sutton sisters, Jessica and Emily, are dedicated to archery.

AT just 14 and 16 respectively, archers Jessica and Emily Sutton are used to receiving that familiar look of doubt.

Jessica dreams of winning at the Olympics, while Emily aims to win a senior world championship one day.

Both are currently competing at the National Youth Archery Championships, at their home club of Mt Petrie Bowmen (in the target, field and matchplay divisions), with the clout to be held at Samford Valley.

The talented duo was expected to sweep the fields, and easily qualify for the Junior World Championships in China, in October.

And so far they have done just that - after shooting in the rain, Emily won her target event with a national record, and Jessica won the field, also with a national record.

They are competing in all four disciplines - the target, field, clout and matchplay - Jessica in the recurve, and Emily in the compound.

The Sutton sisters, who both attend Wellington Point State High School, are doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals, after stumbling on the sport about four years ago.

"I was rowing on the Brisbane River every morning, before going straight to Mt Petrie to watch Jess shoot. I saw she was going well so I told myself 'I may as well shoot too'," Emily said.

"I used to play full-contact rugby union when we lived in the UK, for our representative county team, but had to stop after picking up a long-term injury.

"But I love archery."

Through an unparalleled dedication to their sport, the Sutton sisters are taking archery to new heights.

"We train six days a week - we look at video analysis and mental training, fitness training twice a week through our school's elite sports program, and we make sure our diets are good," Jessica said.

"I know I can't go to parties, and I'm fine with that.

"Some people don't believe me when I say I want to go to the senior world championships."

But the girls already have runs on the board - Emily returned home last year with a bronze in the individual matchplay at the Trans Tasman Archery Championships in New Zealand.

Jessica won a silver in the mixed team matchplay and a gold in the individual matchplay, while also setting all records for the individual matchplay, for her age.

Fellow Queenslanders Nicholas Turner and Anthony Carroll are also tipped to do well at the national youths, expected to join the Suttons on the plane to China.

The girls receive expert coaching from their father Dave, who is also organising the youth championships.
Dave had no archery background before his girls took up the sport.

Topics:  archery

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