2017 National Para Champions
SOPA has dominated the 2017 National Para Championships held in Canberra with 4 out of 4 Indoor Gold and 3 out of 4 Outdoor Gold.
Our new National Champions are Ameera, Rebecca, 'Jonno' (Jonathon) and Marek.
We wish to thank Ricci Cheah (SOPA Head Coach) for steering them to success and those who assisted at the event, Daniel, Saskia and Kez.
Photo (left to right) Ameera, Rebecca, Daniel, Ricci, Jonno, Saskia, Marek and Kez.
SOPA is a club with a track record of supporting Para's reach their sporting dreams and goals even to winning a Paralympic Medal (Jonno, Rio 2016).
2017 Australian Open - Laura wins Bronze at age 16
SOPA's Laura Trezise has won a bronze medal at the 2017 Australia Open in Brisbane. Laura who is 16 years old has also recently qualified as a Level 2 international KSL coach.
SOPA dominates at State Target
Congratulations to the following State Champions from Sydney Olympic Park Archers.
Gabriel Buckland Willis
Jono Wins Bronze in Rio
In just a few years Jono Milne has gone from being told he wont walk again to being one of Australia's best archers. He has now blasted onto the world scene by winning a bronze medal in Rio. With Australia's new young talented coach Ricci Cheah guiding him and a strong support group of family, friends and club members at SOPA, Jono has achieved what most would think an impossible task. He is an inspiration to all. Life can deal out some tough blows but don't tell Jono that, he is to busy achieving his next goal. Jono is the first Australian para archer to win a medal at the Paralympic Games in 32 years.
Read the World Archery article on Jono Here
iCare, weCare, Go Jono!
Triumph in the Midst of Trials
Rio, spinal cord injury and archer
Disclaimer / do not read this article if you don't want to be inspired!
When you are 206cm (6 foot 9 inch) tall and having a giant of a life, the shock of finding yourself paralysed from the chest down and totally dependent on those around you has been described as a door opening and being flung into a world that you could never have imagined. That is what happened to Jonathon.
On the eve of Christmas Eve, 2012, Jonathon was going for a swim at Avoca beach with his wife, Sarah, when his forehead clipped a sand bar and snapped his head down onto his chest leaving him floating face down in the surf. Sarah noticed him bobbing his head up and down and flipped him over and dragged him to shore. Eight hours in surgery at Royal North Shore Hospital on Christmas Eve and then to be told,"You have what you have. That is all we can tell you." Jonathon was paralysed from the chest down and his arms were also badly effected. But even as he came out of recovery from surgery, still heavily sedated and intubated and connected to all sorts of machines, the second sentence he uttered to Sarah and I was,"I think I'll take up archery. It's a sport I can do from the chair." I don't know if he had some sort of revelation whilst he was sedated and in surgery but he seemed to emerge from theatre with a grace and focus and determination that could be described as a divine gift. (Not once since the accident has Jonathon complained or displayed any frustration at his new state of being!)
Four weeks later was his birthday and with money that was given by family and friends Sarah took him to an archery store and he bought his first bow. With his neck brace on and strapped into his wheelchair ( he couldn't sit up by himself!) we got him to the public end of Sydney Olympic Park Archery range and he started shooting. It was February, hot and humid and very uncomfortable, but he was not deterred. It didn't take Jonathon long to discover that he really enjoyed the sport and happened to have some talent at it. Several times a week we would drive from Ryde Rehab hospital to SOPA and he would shoot. He was in Ryde rehab for 4 months. During that time, archery gave him a reason to get out, get moving and have a new focus.
There was a new hope.
Before long, Jonathon's enjoyment and commensurate ability at archery led him to become a member of the SOPA club where, in his first club shoot, he attained a medal for an "all gold" at 50 metres. The SOPA club "family" have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging of Jonathon from day one. He made some new friends and found a new life. Archery has also become his new vocation. Prior to his accident, Jonathon was a carpenter, but now ladders do not figure in his immediate future! So regular trips to Abbey archery to buy new equipment led him to apply for a position there, and there he has been happily employed for more than 12 months. During that time, as a result of persistent and consistent shooting, Jonathon's archery scores rose to an internationally elite level. This led to an invitation from world archery for Jonathon to attend the World Para Championships in Germany in August 2015. There he surprised everyone and came 4th in world and earned a spot at the Paralympics in Rio this year. Since then, with direction from his coach, Ricci, Jonathon has competed in Queensland, Victoria, Adelaide, Shanghai and Turkey against all comers, with great success.
Many people may think that sustaining an injury such as Jonathon's would shrink your life, but his story bears testimony to the contrary. Jonathon's journey of pursuing his interest in the sport of archery has empowered him to overcome great physical challenges; but maybe even more importantly, it has inspired him to live a life that truly makes him happy - where his vacation has become his vocation.
I once read that "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give!". Jonathon is now employed in an archery store, engaged in the sport, and enjoying the privilege of coaching younger archers. Initially, it would seem that a spinal cord injury would only be a catastrophe that detracts from one's life. Jonathon's story serves to remind and inspire us that need not be the case. We cannot always choose what comes to us, but we can choose how to respond. Spinal cord injury came to Jonathon. So did archery. Jonathon responded with a depth of character, an attitude of perseverance and positivity, and a generosity of spirit that have carried him to personal highs and landed him on the brink of what is a dream for most people - representing their country at the Olympics or Paralympics.
His road to Rio began at a turn of events that no one would invite into their life. But before he even arrives on that world stage, his life is one of triumph.
See Jono preparing for Rio in the iCare video at Click Here
SOPA at The National/State Indoor
2nd Mat Tonowicz >20 & Under Male Compound
2nd Rudy Sicha >Veteran Male Barebow Recurve
3rd Peter Hale >Veteran+ Male Longbow
1st Tayla King >Open Female Recurve
1st Mateusz Tonowicz >20 & Under Male Compound
1st Alex Kim >Cadet Male Recurve
1st Elizabeth Parington >Cub Female Recurve
1st Rudy Doyle > Cub Male Recurve
1st Rudy Sicha > Veteran Male Barebow Recurve
1st Peter Hale > Veteran+ Male Longbow
1st Pearly Sim > Veteran Female Compound
2nd Shaun Wang>Cadet Male Recurve
2nd Giorgio Vasiliades > Cub Male Recurve
2nd Chevyone Cheah > Intermediate Female Recurve
2nd Peter Valas >20 & Under Male Recurve
2nd Alex King > Open Male Recurve
2nd Kevin Curran > Veteran Male Compound
2nd Kevin Gillett > Veteran Male Recurve
3rd Marha>Cadet Male Recurve
3rd Isabella Mavlian >Intermediate Female Recurve
3rd Norman Sim > Veteran Male Recurve
3rd Danielle Jansen van Rensburg > Cadet Female Recurve
3rd Steve Cheah: > Master Male Recurve
3rd Gabriel Buckland Willis > Intermediate Male Compound
Father and Son Show They Have Plenty of 'Clout'
Clout is a very traditional form of archery and a fantastic break from the usual target archery. Clout requires a lot of skill as the arrows travel over twice the distance of target archery for age division.
Jason and Rudy have been shooting arrows for less than a year but have shown they can hit a small target at long distance and smash club records. Jason hit the small clout twice from a distance of 165 meters in his first ever clout shoot.
Rudy (Jason's son) was not going to be outdone by dad hitting the clout a record 4 times at 100m with 36 arrows. Amazing shooting guys!
Clout is still alive and well at SOPA!
2016 Oceania Championships - Tonga
Congratulations to the following SOPA Archers who represented Australia at the 2016 Oceania Championships held in Tonga.
Gold: Commonwealth Championships
Gold: Oceania Championships
Gold: Mixed Matchplay
Silver: Oceania 1440
Gold: Commonwealth Championships
Gold: Oceania 1440
Silver: Oceania Championships
Silver: Oceania Junior Men Championships
2016 Youth Nationals
Congratulations to the following SOPA archers who obtained medals at the 2016 Youth Nationals.
Gold: Short Distance
Gold: Short Distance
Silver: Short Distance
2016 Australian Open
SOPA broke another Australian record last weekend when 37 archers from one club headed north to Brisbane to compete in the 2016 Australian Open. 38 airline seats, 20 bedrooms and 6 people movers.
Around 1/3 of the entrants in this high performance event were from SOPA.
Mat Gray – Team Matchplay
Tayla King – Team Matchplay
Jo Murray – Team Matchplay
Mellissa Spinocchia – Team Matchplay
Tayla King – Individual Matchplay
Shaun Wang – Team Matchplay
Alex King – Team Matchplay
Victor Wei – Team Matchplay
Mat Gray – Team Matchplay
SOPA dominates Warringah Open
SOPA archers dominated the Warringah open held 13/02/2016. Victor, Ian and Lisa won their divisions. SOPA also won both compound and recurve team events including matchplay. Well done to all!
Male Open Recurve
1 Victor Wei
2 Frank Figliuzzi
3 Jaymie Murray
Male Open Compound
1 Ian Asidera
2 Jonathon Milne
3 Clinton Wright
Female Open Compound
1 Lisa Matton
3 Julia Wright
Female Open Recurve
2 Jo Murray
Male Master Recurve
3 Steve Cheah
One Thousand Arrows in One Day Challenge
Most archers will shoot up to 100 arrows in one day, so shooting 1000 in one day is both physically and mentally taxing, To complete this grueling process requires a determination and focus that not too many posses.
Four SOPA members completed the challenge on New Years Eve.
Chevyone at the age of only 13 showed how determined she was to complete this exhausting challenge and was the first to finish. She was then rewarded with a shoulder massage from our Head Coach and qualified physio Ricci.
The future of Australian archery is once again looking good due to the passion and discipline of these young archers along with Ricci’s experience and guiding influence and using KiSik Lees sound bio mechanical archery methods which reduces physical and mental fatigue.
Another Successful KiSik Lee Seminar at SOPA
Alex King has joined the list of Level 2 Coaches at SOPA. Alex gave an impressive demonstration of his knowledge of the Shot Cycle in front of Mr Lee to achieve his certification. This puts the number of SOPA qualified coaches at four.
The seminar was a huge success with all those who sat the Level 1 certification passing the difficult test, a first for the worldwide seminars.There are now over 50 Level one certified archers throughout the world.
Ricci Chea: Level 3
Greg Nguyen: Level 2
Elisa Barnard: Level 2
Alex King: Level 2
Congratulations to the following SOPA members who achieved Level 1 Certification
KiSik Lee Sydney Seminar 15th-18th December
Sydney Olympic Park Archers once again hosts a training and coaching accreditation seminar from the World's leading archery coach, KiSik Lee. If you are an archer, potential coach or current coach you should not miss this event.
Come and hear from the Worlds leading archery coach. Learn how to shoot better. Learn how to coach better.
Even if you have been in archery only a short time you will most probably have heard the name KiSik Lee. He is the coach who led Australia out of the archery wilderness to achieve our only Olympic archery medals . He has also coached Brady Ellison from being a compounder to become arguably the best recurve archer of all time. No other coach in the world comes close to his record, 15 Olympic medals (7 gold) and 24 World Championship medals. Through his International Seminars and KLICC accreditation Mr Lee has already certified 1 Level 3 Coach (Ricci Cheah) 14 Level 2 Coaches and over 40 Level 1 Instructors throughout the world. If you are an archer, learn how to shoot smarter and stronger and learn how to avoid injury. If you have target panic, this can be easily cured. Learn how to deal with matchplay at major events. If you are looking to become a coach, get a proper accreditation that can be recognised throughout the world and start your students on a path to success while reducing risks of injury by using correct biomechanics.
KiSik Lee is a World Archery Coaching Committee Member
To register click here
Photo: KiSik, Ricci, Jon
2015 NSW State Clout
Congratulations to the following SOPA members who achieved medals at the 2015 State Clout.
Photo: Melissa, Tayla, Joanna
2015 AA National Championships
The AA National Championships were held in Morwell Victoria. Congratulations to the following SOPA members who received medals.
Tayla King: Gold (Clout), Silver (Short Target), Bronze (Target), Bronze (Field)
Liz Hole: Bronze (Clout), Bronze (Short Target), Bronze (Target), Bronze (Field)
Kevin Gillett: Gold (Clout), Silver (Field), Bronze (Short Target)
Pearly Sim: Bronze (Target), Bronze (Short Target)
Alex Kim: Bronze (Target)
Shaun Wang: Bronze (Short Target)
2015 State Championships
SOPA produced some impresive results at the State Championships including a 1, 2 and 3 on the Men's Open Recurve Podium.
Shaun Wang: Gold Medal - Open men
Tayla King: Gold Medal - Open women
Nic Kyriazis: Gold medal - Cadet Boys
Chevyone Cheah: Gold medal - Cub Female
Dawid Bester: silver medal - Open men
Liz Hole: Silver medal - Master Women
Alex King: Bronze Medal - Open men
Steve Cheah: Bronze medal - Master Men
2015 Australian Masters Games
Vintage 2015 and like good wine SOPA's masters proved they get better with time in the home of some of Australia's best reds.
Rudy Sicha x 3 (Target, Field, 3D)
Ian Assidera x 2 (Target, 3D)
Ben Townsend (Target)
Ian Assidera (Field)
Ray Broady (Clout)
Kevin Gillett (Field)
2015 Para World Championships
SOPA's Jonathon Milne has come 4th at the 2015 Para World Championships in Germany. In his first World competition Jono nearly brought home a bronze medal and has earnt praise and respect from the commentators. We cant wait to see what he can do in Rio. Marek completed his tournament by winning his first elimination match against Leon Miyamoto from Japan but was knocked out when he came up against 9th ranked Lee Hong Gu from Korea. Marek finished a very credible 33 in the rankings. Well done Marek, this is only the beginning.
National Indoor Championships
Congratulations to our two new National Indoor Champions.
- Shaun Wang 1st (Cadet Male Recurve)
- Mat Tonowicz 1st (20 & Under Male Compound)
Other National placings
- Lisa Matton 2nd (Open Female Recurve)
- Chevyone Cheah 2nd (Cub Female Recurve)
- Alex Kim 2nd (Intermediate Male Recurve)
- Eammon Marha 3rd (Cadet Male Recurve)
- Peter Hale 2nd (Veteran+ Male Barebow Recurve)
- Leon Hides 3rd (Veteran+ Male Barebow Recurve)
- Elizabeth Hole 3rd (Master Female Barebow Recurve)
State Indoor Championships
4 Full Podium Finishes to SOPA
- Alex King 1st ; Greg Nguyen 2nd; Dawid Bester 3rd (Open Male Recurve)
- Lisa Matton 1st; Joanna Murray 2nd; Tayla King 3rd (Open Female Recurve)
- Rob Clarke 1st; Norman Sim 2nd; Raymond Broady 3rd (Veteran Male Recurve)
- Peter Hale 1st; Leon Hides 2nd (Veteran+ Male Barebow Recurve)
- Shaun Wang 1st; Eammon Marha 3rd (Cadet Male Recurve)
- Alex Kim 1st (Intermediate Male Recurve)
- Mat Tonowicz 1st (20 & Under Male Compound)
- Chevyone Cheah 1st (Cub Female Recurve)
- Elizabeth Hole 2nd (Master Female Barebow Recurve)
- Kevin Curran 2nd (Master Male Compound)
- Catherine Files 2nd (Veteran Female Recurve)
- Laura Trezise 3rd (Intermediate Female Recurve)
- Pearly Sim 3nd (Veteran Female Compound)
An extraordinary effort, especially when you consider the club does not have an indoor facility.
SOPA has 4 out of the top 6 national male recurve archers
In the latest National ranking list SOPA has filled 4 of the top 6 places with Matt Gray, Alex King, Shaun Wang and Jaymie Murray leading the way and Dawid Bester not far behind.
SOPA Cleans up at 2015 State Championships
SOPA hosted the Archery NSW 720 Matchplay Championships and won 7 out of the 10 medals on offer.
- Shaun Wang - Gold (Men Recurve)
- Alex King - Silver (Men Recurve)
- Lisa Matton - Silver (Women Recurve)
- Jonathan Milne - Silver (Men Compound)
- Tayla King - Bronze - (Women Recurve)
- Dawid Bester - Bronze - (Men Recurve)
- Ian Assidera - Bronze - (Men Compound)
2015 Youth Nationals
SOPA members picked up a total of 15 medals at the Youth Nationals held at Penrith:
- Shaun Wang (Cadet Recurve) GOLD:target GOLD:field GOLD:clout SILVER:matchplay GOLD:Recurve Team
- Eddie Upston (Cub Recurve) GOLD:clout SILVER:field BRONZE:target
- Laura Trezise (Intermediate Recurve) GOLD:clout GOLD: Recurve Team
- Alex Kim (Intermediate Recurve) BRONZE:target BRONZE:field
- Mat Tonowicz (Junior Compound) BRONZE:matchplay BRONZE:clout
- Daniel Curran (Junior Compound) SILVER:Field
National Matchplay Series
SOPA archers came away with 4 of the 6 medals on offer at the National Matchplay Series held in Sydney. Matt Gray won silver and Alex King a bronze in the men's recurve. Ian Asidera a silver and Jonathon Milne a bronze in the compound.
SOPA at the 2015 Australian Open
Eleven SOPA archers attended a very cold and windy 2015 Australian Open in Hobart. 15 year old Shaun Wang was very impressive when he almost caused a big upset in his first major tournament against one of Australia's top recurve archers. Medals went to our two existing Olympians, Matt and Elisa. Matt is one of Australia's most experienced archers with three Olympics behind him, he won a Gold in teams and a Silver in the individual. Elisa won a Silver in teams. This was Elisa's first tournament back from a break since she represented Australia at the London Olympics, she still is the only archer to have won the Australian Open 3 years in succession. All of our archers gained confidence and experience shooting against Australia's elite and coach Ricci can't wait until next years Open following the very impressive performances by our archers under pressure and difficult weather conditions.
World's first Level 3 Coach
Following another intensive week with the world's top coach KiSik Lee at the third Sydney seminar, SOPA's Head Coach Ricci Cheah has now become the world's first Level 3 KLICC Certified Coach. Ricci's coaching level is now equivalent to Level 5 in the USA. Well done Ricci! Elisa achieved Level 2 Certification and Rachael, Tayla and Alex King were awarded Level 1 further strengthening our club's knowledge and coaching depth.
Korean Para Team
SOPA welcomes the Korean Para Archery Team who are back at SOPA to enjoy the warmth for a few weeks training.
The 2014 Archery Australia National Championships were held at Geelong in Victoria this year with SOPA well represented. Congratulations to the following medal recipients
- Gold - Kevin Gillett (x2) and Tayla King
- Silver - Mari Luise Agius (x2) and Joanna Murray
- Bronze - Tracy Bryen and Kevin Gillet
- Kevin Gillet also took out the All Round Award for Recurve Veterans
- Tayla King smashed the National record with an outstanding performance in the Open Women's Clout.
Well done to all SOPA members who participated.