Darts WA (DWA) along with their passionate and dedicated volunteers have worked strongly in recent months to get juniors back playing darts.
Following the effects of COVID and the cancellation of this year’s Australian Junior Championships, DWA is eager to ensure they are offering a platform for junior players to train, play and develop their skills.
Junior Development and Coaching Coordinator of Darts WA, Betty Hislop, spoke about the importance of keeping players under the ages of 25 involved in the sport.
“We’re trying to get our juniors back up to speed, because of COVID last year and the absence of the Australian Junior Championships. We’re having to rebuild and train beginners, and anyone under the age of 18, and give them some competition.” Hislop said.
“We’re looking at younger players – some who are 8 – 9 years old – and we are teaching them about the sport of darts. We have kids of all abilities amongst the group, who are coming along nicely, and the idea is to rebuild so we have ongoing junior players for the next 3 – 4 years.”
“I believe that if you do not develop your juniors and your ‘25 and under’ players, the sport has no future. The only way you’re going to get growth into the sport is through the young people coming through,” she added.
Hislop told DA Media how members in WA could get involved in the various junior initiatives.
“Keep an eye on the DWA Facebook group, because myself and other local members put notices on there when we’re holding junior initiatives.”
“We have the Cockburn Youth Centre which we use on a Monday afternoon, as well as the Belmont Sport and Rec Club. We have great interest from members in country WA, our junior development competition last weekend had players from all over country WA – and they really want to be part of this.”
Hislop encouraged other States Associations in Australia to get involved, and explained some of the hidden educational benefits of the sport for children.
“Darts is such a help to young players and their math skills at school, and there’s a lot of kids who aren’t playing physical sport – so I think darts is a great sport to begin for juniors,” she said.
“I encourage the other States to please do something about developing under 18 and ‘25 and under’ players, to help grow our support.”
“If you needed anymore inspiration … Damon Heta and Kyle Anderson started as young fellas in WA.” Hislop added.
Get in touch with the DWA Facebook group here to stay up to date with junior infinitives in WA.