AFRICA CALLING: Mallee Sunset Field Archers’ Mal and Julia Clements and Glenn Hanemann will compete in the IFAA World Championships in South Africa. The Championships begin this weekend.

By MITCH RODD

IT would normally be frowned upon when hearing someone is taking their prized bow and arrows to Africa.

The great continent’s wild fauna can breathe a sigh of relief however, because a trio of local archers have a different target in mind.

Glenn Hanemann and father-daughter combination Mal and Julia Clements of Mallee Sunset Field Archers (MSFA) will compete in the IFAA World Archery Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa over a week beginning Sunday.

While the trio have a wealth of experience at archery events across the country, including National and State title events, it will be the first time they take their talents overseas.

All three competed in the last World titles, held in Wagga Wagga two years ago, where Glenn and Mal finished inside the top six for the B Class Freestyle Unlimited category.

Glenn, Mal and Julia, 16, will all be in Freestyle Unlimited again. The five-day competition consists of two Field rounds, two Hunter rounds and an Animal round, where print-outs of animals will be used instead of bullseye targets.

Glenn has been involved in archery for about 12 years and said he is looking forward to the South African experience.

“It’s going to be brilliant,” he said. “The 2016 World titles were awesome. We met a lot of people, archers from Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa… everywhere really.

“This year will be great to experience something different. At last glance I think there were 450 entries.

“I’ve been out here for about 12 years, although we’ve only been competing under the IFAA for the past two years. I started with a bow I got from a garage sale. Eventually you upgrade all your equipment.”

At just nine-years-old, Julia told her dad she wanted to give archery a try. Fast forward seven years and the Clements’ are still enjoying the sport.

“I just wanted to give it a go, I thought it might be something different I would enjoy,” Julia said.

“Hopefully there won’t be too much jet lag when we get to South Africa.”

“The club has been very supportive ever since we started,” Mal added. “Someone is always on hand to provide advice and help.”

MSFA and local businesses Int Tec Mildura and Mildura Professional Painting (MPP) have thrown their support behind the trio by helping fund their trip to South Africa. Grants from the Mallee Sports Assembly and Sport and Recreation Victoria have also helped ease the financial burden.

The local club, based just outside Red Cliffs, have put in a submission to host a round of the 2019 Australian Safari Series, which would take place over the Easter weekend, and is also preparing a presentation to host the 2021 IFAA World Bowhunter Championships.