Teen rises from backyard shooter to Australian Champion
DECLAN Kidman's weekend success at the National Safari Archery Championships started about two years ago when he noticed a cheap bow in a camping store.
His mother Alanis bought him, what he described as the "crap" $60 bow.
He quickly got the hang of it and decided to take it further.
The 13-year-old Maryborough High School student continued to work hard before joining the Fraser Coast Archery Club.
"I shot that in my backyard for a few months then actually started doing the sport," Kidman said.
Waiting for him on the range was Wide Bay Archers president Gary Pavey.
Pavey remembers watching the young kid progress.
"He was just someone who was pegged as a natural," he said.
"It's just unheard of for someone to achieve those kinds of results after that short a time in the game."
At last weekend's National Championships Kidman won all three of his events.
Despite becoming the Australian Champion in each event, Kidman (pictured) remains modest.
"I have shot better but it was a really hard competition," he joked.
"I never had a shoot that big before and it's pretty nice.
"I'm pretty happy at the moment."
The Year 9 student said he was easily juggling his school work and his hobby.
"I do my schoolwork after school and on the weekend is basically archery," he said.
"Once a week I go down to the club."
Several mentors have helped fine-tune his techniques and style.
"I've learnt most of my archery by myself but I've had people like Gary helping me along the way," he said.
"If it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't be as good as I am- they've helped me with some key stuff."
Pavey insists he hasn't nurtured Kidman but just kept an eye on him.
"It didn't take long and it was like, I can just leave you alone now," he said.
"We're expecting really good things from him, he's going to do well regardless."
As a result of his performance Kidman has gained sponsorship from a Brisbane Archery Supply Retailer.
He will attend future state and national events during the remainder of the year and will begin training for the next World Championships to be held in Wagga Wagga next year.