August 17, 2023

Genevieve Chisholm is so new to archery that when she won a gold medal at the New Zealand Field Archery Association National Championships, she couldn’t believe it.

“I was like, no, he’s joking. I have never, ever in my whole entire life won anything. It took me a week to get my head around it,” she says.

Genevieve joined the Deep South Archery Club in Invercargill in February. She won her first trophy in May and then came first in the Southland Regional Indoor Championships in July. When scores from the five regions –Southland, Wellington Waikato, Auckland and Northland – were collated, Genevieve found she had qualified for a gold medal in the Indoor Nationals as the Best Female Veteran Archer in the Barebow Compound Division. This is where the bow is shot off the fingers with no sighting aids.

“Archery has given me more confidence,” says Genevieve, who has been working with Choices NZ’s Employment Service for the past two years.

Supported by Choices NZ Facilitators Tracey Saunders and more recently Debs Harvey, Genevieve has had difficulty finding work while she waited for cataract surgery for both eyes. She has now had surgery on one eye and is hoping to be able to return to fulltime work as a support worker.

She says Choices NZ has helped her get back on her feet after a marriage breakdown left her with anxiety. “Tracey was the one who believed in me. I have come a long way and I am really proud of myself.”