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Darts hitting the bullseye

Darts has taken Wairarapa District Darts Association president Greg Moss around the world. PHOTO/FILE

DARTS

ELI HILL
[email protected]

Wairarapa District Darts Association president Greg Moss reckons darts in the region is hitting the bullseye.

The association kicked off its season on Thursday night at the Wairarapa Services and Citizen’s Club and with as many as 80 members on the books, 12 teams in first division and seven in the second, the sport was showing good health, Moss said.

“We’ve got some really good up-and-coming juniors and television has done a big thing getting the sport out there to people.

“There’s quite a few opportunities in darts now – there’s rep teams, charter club teams, New Zealand teams and you can go overseas with it.”

Moss won the New Zealand Open in 2011 and competed in the singles at the World Cup in Japan in 2017 where he reached the final 128 players.

“It was a really cool experience, going up against some of the best in the world.

“Darts has taken me quite a few places – England, the US, Australia, Japan. Sometimes with the New Zealand team, other times as an individual.”

However the 49-year-old Masterton man is sticking to smaller events at the moment after injuring his back last year.

“I still plan to muck around locally and around New Zealand but not to the same extent – I won’t be hopping on planes all the time.”

Wairarapa had some strong players with potential to go further but financial constraints meant they weren’t able to take their playing much further than the district, he said.

“No one’s really woken up to it, we’ve got some good players here, but they can’t afford to travel for it. I used to get a bit of sponsorship that helped a lot . . . but not so much anymore and all that travel can empty your pocket pretty quickly.”

There are nine junior members in the club at present, some of whom are developing into strong players.

‘It’s a cheap sport – one of the cheapest. There’s plenty of cheap second-hand dart boards around.

“Once you’ve got your board and a couple of darts you can pretty much play anywhere you want.”

He said that in other parts of the country, darts associations had experienced much faster growth.

‘We finish up the season around September-October, but we’re one of the rare ones. In Wellington, they’re playing three or four nights a week year-round.

“I think the thing for us is our venue, the services club is good, but it would be nice to have somewhere we can get a few more boards in.”

Moss said club members would be training for the Charter Club Championships in July as well as the national championships in which Wairarapa won the plate division.

This year’s championships are being held in Motueka in August.

The association meets at 7.30pm on Thursdays with teams of four playing a round-robin competition.

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