Darts in venue shortage challenge

By Michael Uugwanga

LACK of venues and equipment for Khomas darts clubs has been cited by the Khomas Darts Organisation as the main reasons why the sport is struggling to grow in the region, says spokesperson of the organisation, Jonathan Doeseb.

“The biggest challenge is the venues and equipment. Most clubs do not have their own venues. Clubs are responsible for sourcing their own venues such as at pubs, however you find a club chased out of that pub once a new owner takes over that specific pub. For example we used to make use of the Khomasdal Sport Stadium but due to Covid-19 the stadium is being used to host streetkids. The clubs are also buying their own playing equipment and that the players are also contributing financially to keep their clubs going,” he said.

The Khomas Darts Organisation had been in existence for over 17 years and consists of six affiliated clubs namely, Nampol, City of Windhoek, Corner Pub & Grill, Strikers, Ray mall 1 and Ray mall 2.

The organisation was founded by Reginald van Der Hoeven, Rianca Oelofse, Desiree van Niekerk and Peter Oelofse, and is affiliated with the Namibia Darts Federation.

Just like all other sport codes, darts are currently on standstill amid lockdown regulations.

The last time the Khomas Darts Organisation held an event was in February, after the holding of the national darts trials that were held at the Central Tennis Club in Olympia.

Darts is a sport in which two or more players throw small missiles, also known as darts, at a circular target, known as a dartboard. Points can be scored by hitting specific marked areas of the board, though, unlike in sports such as archery, these areas are distributed all across the board and do not follow a principle of points increasing towards the centre of the board.

Darts remains one of the least popular sports in the country due to the lack of understanding and exposure of the game; however the organisation is already planning on introducing the sport at school level in an attempt to promote it.

“If darts can be introduced in schools it will be a big benefit for the school going children because for example in darts, you add, divide, subtract and multiply as you are playing. The organisation was also planning to be aggressive in grooming players from schools but this idea was affected by Covid-19.

“We are therefore inviting the corporate world to help us develop darts and take it to next level,” said Doeseb.

The Khomas Darts Organisation usually hosts four events in a calendar year, and notable players are Ernst Botes, Mkhululi Khupe, Sacky Mwuahaluka, Efraem  Shivangulula, De waal Theunissen, Marius Steenkamp, Christo Titus and Analize van Brakel.

“The Khomas Region Darts usual hosts a minimum of four different leagues in a year. The lockdown came in the middle of the first league which was also the first leg. After the lockdown rules were eased, we started with the second league which also stopped due to Khomas region reverting back to stage three.

“Covid-19 has affected darts very much as the year programmes have been put on hold. Our members usually participate in other darts activities such the annual police games, Namibia Local Authority games, SADC Municipal games and some end up even selected in the national team for the Zone Six. These games have been put on hold, cancelled or postponed until further notice and this is really demoralising the players although safety of the players comes first,” said Doeseb.