Jessie-Rose (Rosie) Walklate-Cooke is shooting from strength to strength.
The Winmalee resident broke two records at a national archery meet near Hervey Bay in Queensland last month, and was named the junior girls champion in three styles of field archery.
The 15-year-old competed in difficult conditions in the Wide Bay International Field ArcheryAssociation (IFAA), Australian Bowhunters Association (ABA) and 3D Archery Nationals over nine days of competition, due to a cyclone further north and a large contingent of hungry mosquitoes.
In the IFAA event, Rosie shot, from distances varying between 14 and 45 metres, at 28 targets over five days.
“This is very much an endurance event that required her to shoot 112 arrows per day and was testing on her strength to shoot so many arrows,” said Rosie’s mum. Shondell Cooke.
Rosie won her division, earning the title National Junior Girl IFAA Champion in freestyle unlimited division.
In the ABA event, where four rounds of flat-faced animal targets were shot at over two days, Rosie competed in the bowhunter unlimited class against 400 archers. She shot two personal bests in the last two rounds to produce 390 points out of a possible 400.
In doing so, Rosie broke two national records with a score of 390 in the three-arrow and one-arrow rounds, breaking the existing records by more than 25 points, and also gaining the national Australian champion gold medalist title in the junior girls division.
In the final two days Rosie blitzed the National 3D Championship, where four rounds were shot at full size rubber 3D animal targets.
Competing against more than 400 entrants, Rosie scored four rounds above 374 points out of a possible 400, to be named the Australian champion gold medalist in 3D in the junior girls division.
“Winning three titles is something I could never imagine completing,” Rosie said.
“I guess it all comes down to the coaching and vigorous training. This would never have happened, without my dad’s commitment to support me leading up to the nationals.
“I love how the sport can cater for so many individuals - this started as a family sport that we all love, to now being the Australian champion - it still feels so surreal. It’s a sport that I have grown to love and I hope that more females take up as it’s so much fun.”
Rosie was fortunate to attend the nationals, after all her archery gear was lost when the family’s shed went up in flames during the October bushfires. Luckily the house wasn’t lost too - due to the efforts of firefighters and Rosie’s parents. Thanks to the support of the archery community, the gear Rosie lost and the gear of her entire family, who also enjoy the sport, was replaced.
Training for the nationals, Rosie shot 60 arrows a day before school, and did some weights-based training. She only took up the sport five years ago, when her dad, Jeremy, happened to show her and brother Jye his bow.
“I thought, ‘oh that’s cool’,” Rosie said.
A visit to an archery shop followed and Rosie was soon on her way.
The St Columba’s student now has her sights set on the Worlds in May next year in Estonia, Europe, and is getting ready to fundraise, but is looking for sponsors to help make the trip possible. If you would like to sponsor Rosie, contact Shondell Cooke at email@example.com