High flying McAdam riding a darts adventure

When someone in sporting circles hears the name Adrian McAdam, they may automatically cast their minds back to his short but exhilarating career in the AFL.

Some may even associate him with his performance playing cricket for the Northern Territory Chief Minister’s XI, captained by Michael Clarke, in a three-day match against Bangladesh – a game where he claimed three wickets.

But McAdam is now making waves in the world of darts, where this week he is competing at the 42nd Australian Darts Championship at Rich River Golf Club in Moama.

McAdam is part of a Northern Territory contingent of players making its way to the national championships for the first time in a number of years, and he is competing in both the Men’s Team and Individual events.

Speaking to McAdam at the event, he explained that what was meant to be a local, social activity has turned into something he loves and it getting better at over time.

“I just took it up locally as a social sort of thing and I’ve only been involved with it for three years,” he said.

“After the first year, I loved it, so I’ve got a bit more serious and got involved and just being involved in Alice Springs with the Centralian Darts Association has been really good.

“So the opportunity arose and so it was sort of just like a social sort of thing but it has become sort of serious and now I really enjoy playing darts.”

It has been a change from some of the sports McAdam has excelled at in the past – representing Northern Territory in Cricket and Australian Rules as well as playing in the AFL.

And the change has been rewarding for McAdam who enjoys the combination of the social aspect as well as the passion and determination shown by so many in the sport.

“I’ve represented the Territory in many sports, but I’m 52 years of age now, so if it wasn’t darts, it probably would have been lawn bowls,” he admitted.

“There’s no physical contact and I love that and there is such a good social aspect which is fantastic.

“You know, being involved in the Alice Springs competitions, what I have seen is that a lot of people are really interested in and really passionate about playing darts.

“So that was one of the things that made me go in the first place – there were a lot of people that told me to come along and I am really enjoy playing.”

But playing locally as opposed to coming and playing at a Nationals Championships are two very different things, and McAdam says he has learnt a lot just being around the best in the country.

“Well coming to a tournament like this, I’ve learned a lot just for the four days that I’ve been here,” he said.

“You sort of see where you’re at playing against really quality and class players, but I think the more that we play against quality players, the better it makes us. And I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here.”

But more than just reaping the benefits himself of being at the competition, McAdam is looking forward to taking his experiences back home to Alice Springs and encouraging a new generation of players to get involved.

“That’s what I’m more about is going back home and giving the experience that I’ve had back to the players in Alice, because we have got some really, really good quality players back in Alice.

“With the group that we’ve got this representing the Territory at the moment, we’ve got some good players but when I go back, I’m just going to try and promote the sport a lot more.

“We’re really looking at getting a lot of junior competition happening now in Alice Springs, and that’s probably one of the things I want to get involved with now – trying to get a lot of the juniors coming up. We’ve got some good kids there at the moment.”

McAdam has stepped away from his off-field football commitments in recent years and while he does do some bits and pieces in the sport, getting juniors involved in darts is where his passion now lies.

“I’m not so much involved in footy – I did coach a couple of years ago, but I threw it all in and just wanted to get away from it from it all. I do a bit of commentary now so I’m still a little bit involved in that area.

“But being here and experiencing this, it’s just made me more determined to promote the game, and we’ve got some really good young kids in Alice at the moment and if we can give that support for them, it’s going to go a long way.”

Stay up to date with how McAdam, his fellow NT players and all the other competitors are faring at the Australian Open via our Event Hub here.