Shooting star Kristy Havill’s sporting universe began at 10-years-old with a big bang — the sound of a shotgun reducing a flying clay disc to smithereens.
The 19-year-old Lincoln University elite sports scholar is looking down the barrel of a trip to the world champs in Banagher, Ireland, in July with the New Zealand clay target shooting team.
Her family has been involved in the sport for generations. Grandad and her great uncle have both worn the silver fern, and dad is heavily involved in the sport.
Her parents will also be heading the fan club at the champs.
Kristy will be attempting to hit 250 flying clay targets over three days and if she makes the finals another 50.
She will be competing in the ladies team after posting top qualifying scores last year, and at this year’s nationals to cement her black uniform.
The first year Bachelor of Sport and Recreation student has to pay her own way to the event and has started a ‘Give a Little’ page to help defray some of the costs, ammunition and gun permits among them, while the cost of clay birds adds up, even when you are practising.
She is doing a lot of strength and cardio work and shooting once or twice a week, as well as working on her mental skills.
“Shooting is 80 per cent mental,” she says.
Originally from the West Coast she boarded at Rangi Ruru before having a gap year working on the family farm and then coming to Lincoln, and has had success with the shotgun at school level, being 2014 national girl’s champ.
Her home region has helped get her to the event with a grant from Community Trust Development West Coast.
She particularly enjoys the sense of community the sport brings.
“We (the competitors) all catch up at the events around the country,” she says.
Kristy is aiming to move into sports management, or be a player agent, when she finishes her degree.
Photo; Kristy Havill at the Clay Target Shooting Nationals in March where she won the trophy for being the highest ladies qualifier for a New Zealand team.