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We are off to meet some genuine "students of the game" on Saturday! York University is our destination.

A Darts Education

Posted: 17.02.12 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

We are off to meet some genuine "students of the game" on Saturday! York University is our destination.



Even the most one eyed critic of darts would be forced to admit that slowly and surely darts is shrugging off its ‘old school’ image. The idea of darts just being a pub game played by ‘working class folk’ who are well endowed in the beer belly department and that anyone claiming that darts is a  sport is a lunatic is thankfully being left well behind!

I did say slowly but darts is definitely moving forward.  It may not have the ‘force for good’ yet that underpin a lot of other mainstream sports such as football. The FA vigorously attempt to ensure their young players are coached by qualified coaches and of course have many agents carrying out diverse programmes using football to promote learning. There are also lots of campaigns to raise awareness of social issues and help to fight problems such as racism using football as the power to engage us. There are ‘splinter groups’ trying to replicate this in darts and one day both the governing bodies will jump in and support them too. 

Another barometer of how a sport is changing is when you can envisage that some people may be taken a bit by surprise (pleasantly surprised that is) of a group of players that don’t fit the stereo typical view the one eyed ‘dinosaur’ mentioned earlier has of 21st century darts.  We are off to the UK University Singles Championships at York University. York is one of the foremost higher education establishments in the UK, how about that then?

It shouldn’t be a surprise mind. There are of course a number of university educated characters involved in the darts world. Darts has its own Doctor for goodness sake. Patrick Chaplin aka Dr Darts, he is a good friend of our site (and that reminds me I need to phone the good Doctor!), Sid Waddell read a degree in modern history at Cambridge no less! Justin Irwin author of The Wrong Bed podcast is the “Bachelor of Darts”. Former women’s player Linda Duffy is a Doctor and qualified sports psychologist, Scott Mackenzie studied at the University of Kent and “Mile High” has a BA in English Literature. Those blokes that run the Darts Performance Centre have a certificate or two between them as well!


Dr Darts !                                                          Mark "Mile High" Hylton

The University Singles event was first held in 2009. Arguably more proof of the emergence of darts to a wider audience. Last year not only was there the usual singles event but also a challenge match against the University Darts Association of Ireland. There is also a University team event held each year which has been going since 2007.

Most of the players taking part are members of their own darts clubs at their respective universities. They organise practice sessions and also carry out the vital task of introducing players to darts, some of course for the first time. Recruitment is vital for any sport to flourish! One of our ‘jobs’ at the weekend is to give some of the University team captains a run through of how we run a coaching session. The idea being that they can take some ideas back with them to encourage more students to get involved with their darts club.

What a fantastic event to be involved with. People with a passion for darts, motivated to organise a national tournament and who give up their time to encourage and nurture more players to take up the sport at various universities all over the UK!

There will of course be a champion on Saturday but in the context of everything else we have discussed, that is academic!




The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. We are also committed to researching all aspects of darts to provide players with information and solutions that most other sports take for granted. Please support us by joining today.Membership is £25.00 per annum

We also offer group coaching days  and we will shortly be arriving at a darts centre near you for one on one video analysis sessions - please register for free to join our mailing list to find out when and where we will be.


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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