Anna Craig is a straight shooter, both when she competes in and talks about her chosen sport.
The 17-year-old year 12 pupil at St Kevin’s College has had a stellar trap shooting season with several top finishes at competitions across the Otago and South Canterbury regions followed by South Island selection.
Craig finished second in both the single rise and girls skeet at the South Island championships, and first in the single rise at the Aoraki secondary schools championships to go with seconds in the points score and single barrel, a discipline she also won at the Dunedin intercollegiate championships.
More success followed at the Timaru intercollegiate championships where Craig picked up first in the women’s skeet, and second in the points score and single barrell.
Arguably her most impressive results came at the Wanaka-Alexandra tournament, where she finished top women’s point-scorer, top woman overall and first as part of the Taieri, Wanaka and Otago open team shoots.
Craig won top honours at the Aoraki secondary schools sports awards and also won the women’s skeet at the North Island championships.
To top that all off, while competing at national level she was selected in the South Island and Central South Island tournament teams.
What makes her efforts more impressive is that she only took up the sport a year ago.
“My brother’s been doing it for several years, so I thought I’d give it a go,” Anna said.
“I didn’t think I’d keep at it, but here we are.”
She enjoyed the rewards that came with her hard work, which involved training for five to six hours a week and shooting at competitions regularly at weekends.
Craig said while more females were taking up the sport, many were not sticking with it due to several factors, such as costs associated with ammunition and travel.
She hoped that would change, especially if the likes of 2016 Olympic silver medallist Natalie Rooney continued her success.
“I think she is a role model. It is a minority sport and her success has gained national and international recognition. That’s really cool. It’s building the sport and more people are aware of it.”
Craig planned to continue shooting for as long as possible and believed if “a girl from Timaru” like Rooney could succeed at the top level, so could she.