At just 13-years-old, Ryley Griffiths is the youngest shooter New Zealand has ever had in a senior archery team.
“It's amazing the experience of shooting against a lot of older people. I mean, when I get older I'll have all that experience so when I’m versing people that will then be my age I’ll have all the experience in the world," Ryley told 1 NEWS.
Now he’s shortlisted for the Tokyo Olympics, up against seven other shooters, all vying for one spot.
“I don’t really think it's sunk in. I’m just like, 'Wow it’s the Olympics.' If I can go it would be amazing.”
But he has a lot of travel to do first.
He has three trips before May alone, to get as many points as he can to improve his chance of qualifying.
“As most minor sports in New Zealand, they’re all self-funded. They could be spending upwards of $20,000 a year just do to an international campaign," Ryley’s coach, Petra Baker, said.
And it’s not just Ryley that has to travel. His mum Jane often joins him.
“Because he’s under 16 it’s a requirement with Archery New Zealand that a parent has to travel with him for all international events, so cost-wise it definitely does start to get expensive," mum Jane added.
But something that isn’t of concern is Ryley’s older opponents.
His coach said it’s interesting when they figure out just how young he is.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise and a little bit of a, 'Oh no, I have a bit to prove now 'cause I don’t want to be beaten by a kid much younger than me,' so it’s always quite entertaining to watch the faces of his older competitors when they realise how young he is.”
Ryley agrees that it's his oppenents, not him, who tend to get more nervous.
“I've got nothing to lose, they’ve got everything to lose," he explained. "So I just go and shoot and if I make them nervous, oh well."
Ryley and his family have set up a Go Fund Me page to assist with his travel cost in his venture to qualify for the Olympics.