BOW TYPE: Recurve
CLUB: Sunshine Coast Archery Club, Twin City Archers Gippsland and Kew City Bowmen
Facebook – James Gaze

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Hi I’m James Gaze, I started archery in 2015 and am currently looking to make the team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. I also study exercise and sport science at Swinburne University of Technology.

Sport has always been a big part of my life due to my family background and the goal with anything I did was to work hard and always try to be the best possible as was ingrained in me by my family. My journey in sport started with swimming when I was 6 followed by basketball to try and follow in my family’s footsteps and then skiing until eventually in 2015 I tried archery for the first time, I sort of did it on and off a little bit as I was still training at an indoor ski center across the road from the club I had tried it at but it stuck in my mind and never really left it from that point on. After a couple of months the ski center was forced to close due to rising costs in the area and I made a full time switch to archery about midway through 2015. From that point on I was hooked as I finally felt like I had found a sport that fit me better than any had previously.
 Under the guidance of my first coach, Steve Jacobs, I competed in the 2016 youth national championships, mid-way through 2017 joined the High Performance program for the first time and was selected for my first international teams, the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships in Yankton, South Dakota and later in 2018 the Asia Cup in Taiwan Taipei. This inturn led to me doing the Indoor World Series in Nimes, Lancaster Archery Classic and Vegas Shoot all in that same year. It was an eye opening experience and one that grew my hunger to improve at the sport even more and led to me upon coming home from this trip achieving my best national result to date of finishing second at the 2018 Australian Open in Victor Harbor. In 2019 I made the team for the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, another Asia Cup in the Philippines later that same year and my first world university games in Napoli, Italy. From the second half of 2019 Steve concluded that I need some outside help and towards the end of the year I started working under Ricci Cheah, our now National Para coach. With Ricci’s input I finally started to make some progress on the mental demons that I had been fighting the previous 2 years leading to a second place finish at the 2020 Indoor World Series event in Sydney and also was selected for the Oceania Championships in Fiji. Unfortunately the world was hit by the Covid 19 Pandemic, leading to nearly two years of virtually no competition, and unprecedented strife across the globe and like many people around the world I struggled with the sustained lockdowns. However it was not all bad as midway through 2020 with Ricci’s appointment as National Para coach I began to work under my now current coach Lynette Rankin from the Sunshine Coast Archery Club.
The end of 2021 and the first half of 2022 for me was spent largely getting used to shooting competitions again and learning under my new coach and towards the end of that year things finally started coming together. I shot a new personal best for the 720 round of 664, the highest score I’d shot in competition since April of 2018 and along with that I wound up qualifying for the 2023 world championship team trials. Despite the trials not going quite as planned with some unfortunate circumstances there were encouraging signs and even with some more issues after the trials I still managed to qualify for my second world university games in Chengdu, China. This event, while not being the result I was hoping for, has led to some big breakthroughs for me in the sport and also reintroduced some of the enjoyment that had been missing since the start of the Covid years at a critical juncture just a few months out from the start of the Olympic qualification period in 2024.

As with every journey I haven’t done it alone and I would be remiss to not mention the team of people and sponsors who have supported me throughout the years, of course my current coach Lynette Rankin from Sunshine Coast Archery Club who still amazes me to this day with her wealth of knowledge and compassion and her son Ryan Tyacks for being an irreplaceable mentor, my previous coaches, Ricci Cheah for his willingness to accept an outsider as a student, and Steve Jacobs for taking me under his wing and starting me on the path to success, my massage therapist Steve Eastwood, owner of Bayside Therapy Group, and his entire team for supporting me since 2016, Swinburne University of Technology for their continued support of my studies and sporting pursuits, my psychologist Dr Katie Wood, Dr John Brooks and Senior Physio John Contreras from Physiosports Brighton, Dr Robert Ballantyne from Chiropractic Care Australasia and last but certainly not least Pat Coghlan and the entire team from Pats archery for their support since early in 2018. Without all of you my journey in archery to this point would not have been possible. Thank you