South Africa

Bringing darts to the north

Darts is a growing sport in South Africa, but many don’t know about it as yet.

Which is why Steven Maphike, the president and development officer of the Pretoria North darts association, has brought the sport to Jonibach sport centre, in Eeufees Street in the north.

“Darts Youth Academy is strictly a youth centre that is drug- and alcohol-free. The academy is all about coaching and providing the youth with opportunities. The idea is once you start you compete against other darts players in Gauteng,” said Maphike.

He further said fewer kids have come to the centre since Darts Youth Academy launched despite it receiving a lot of positive feedback especially from the parents who continue to bring and trust the centre with their kids.

“I brought my two kids here because they do physical sport at school so it’s important for them to do something for the mind as well to bring balance. I also wanted them to join a youth group to keep them busy and out of dangerous activities the youth indulge in and darts is clean fun,” said Leilani Pullen, a parent.

“Darts used to be a social game but now we play competitive darts. We were part of the Tshwane Darts association previously, which was a little bit far to travel. We have players from Soshanguve and other closer areas, so instead of them travelling far to participate we just decided to bring darts to them and opened the association in Pretoria North to give them an opportunity,” said Maphike.

Playing darts has the following benefits:

– manifesting a quick mathematical mind.

– develops self-control

– teaches dedication and discipline

– requires endurance and fitness

– enhances team spirit

– develops hand-eye co-ordination

– improves concentration

– builds confidence

– relieves stress

– promotes logical and strategic thinking

– improves social skill

Luanette Rademeyer of Dart Youth Academy, represented the Gauteng Darts Federation at the nationals and was selected for the SA Juniors to represent SA in the Darts World Cup in Dernmark in September. She came overall second in the ladies junior section at the DSA nationals which shows that darts can open doors to success.

The academy is in the process of registering as an NGO, and admission is free of charge. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to the academy.

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