Sixteen-year-old New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) Archer, Branden Tse has a mighty future in his sights after recording this year’s best National result – in the Recurve category – after he finished in fourth place at the 2023 World Youth Archery Championship in Limerick, Ireland.
As a result of his performances and commitment, Branden was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship from the 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program. The program exists to preserve and celebrate the history of Australian sport, and to inspire all Australians to achieve their potential both in sport and in life.
While reflecting on the significance of the acknowledgement, Tse said it was a thrill to meet some Aussie icons.
“I got the chance to meet a couple of Australia’s best athletes, including Ian Thorpe,” he said. “I was able to listen to their stories of how they got to achieve their dreams and that truly inspires me to keep pushing and do better in my sport.”
Tse was also recognized for his accomplishments by his fellow students and the staff at Knox Grammar School, where he is in Year 11 and preparing for next year’s HSC.
He was commended and celebrated during an assembly at the school, held in the Lawsons Centre, in front of over 600 pupils from years seven through to nine.
The sharpshooter was asked several questions by his peers and headmaster, Mr. Scott James, including details about how he found archery.
“I was nine years old and sitting at an appointment with my optometrist,” he said. “She noticed I had very advanced eyesight and recommended I try a shooting sport.
“She suggested archery, and that’s when I picked a bow for the first time.”
Tse presented Mr. James with a gift for the school of a framed National green and gold jersey, featuring a photo from the 2023 World Youth Archery Championship that was taken during the bronze medal match. He said it was his ‘gesture of gratitude’ to the school for supporting him throughout his archery career.
When the assembly concluded, NSWIS Senior Archery Coordinator, Mark Williams, set up a target on the main sports field for Branden to demonstrate his impressive skills to staff and students.
Tse measured out 70 metres from the target – competition standard length – and fired his first round of practice arrows whilst taking into consideration the hazardous weather conditions of strong winds and heavy rain. Indeed, he told the crowd it was similar conditions to the World Youth Champs in Ireland.
After firing his first six arrows, an inflated balloon was set up in the centre of the target. Branden had no problem using it to burst it with his arrow, and the feat had his peers cheering in admiration.
When asked to comment on how NSWIS has helped his development, Tse said the Institute had allowed him to maintain a focus.
“NSWIS has supported me by giving me the opportunity to train with a focus on strength and conditioning and allowing me to be flexible with my school hours so I can stay focused in my sessions,” he commented.
“Archery relies on upper body strength, especially the core. Jason Howell, my strength and conditioning coach from NSWIS, helps me to strengthen my upper and lower body to support my balance and control over the bow.”
Tse said his sights were firmly set on competing in Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.
Mitchell Soames, NSWIS