Young darts enthusiasts take aim in Pembury

A new free junior darts club opened earlier this month in Pembury.

The Pembury Junior Darts Club is held every Saturday at the King William IV pub on Hastings Road from midday til 2pm. Parents are asked to remain at the venue for the duration of the club.

The new club, for children aged 8 to 16, was launched by Dan Littlechild, Chairman of the Kent and Sussex Hospital Fund Darts League (KSHFDL). The KSHFDL has raised over £115,000 across the last 35 years to support Tunbridge Wells Hospital and the former Kent and Sussex Hospital.

Following the success of 17-year-old darts player Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler at the 2023/24 PDC World Championships, several parents had got in contact with Dan asking if there were any junior darts clubs in the area and so he decided to enquire and set one up himself.

The club is sponsored by Dan’s employers Quensh Specialists Ltd (equipment) and the King William IV (venue), meaning that the sessions can remain free of charge and be as inclusive to as many people as possible.

The first few sessions have been popular with between 10 and 20 children attending each week. Some attendees have since set up darts boards at home in their garages so that they can practise further and play with their parents.

Dan commented, “It’s been really good so far. They are all really enjoying it. Not only is it keeping them off technology for two hours, but it’s teaching them to count without realising and they’re just having fun and getting into the sport.”

He has hopes to grow the youth participation of the sport locally by encouraging some other clubs or members in the adult’s darts league to consider setting up junior sessions of their own so that they can eventually get a mini league started in the local area.

However, Dan explained to the Times that the club’s main goal is to encourage the next generation into trying a new sport.

He added, “Everyone says ‘oh you might have the next Luke Littler’, but it’s not about finding the next Luke Littler really. It’s just about getting them out there and doing something that they might enjoy.”

This Saturday (March 2), Dan is hosting a 12-hour darts marathon at the King William IV pub from 10am to 10pm to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK in support of dads everywhere.

The event is open to everyone to attend, with some of the members from the junior darts club and the adult league already signed up to play.

If your child is interested in joining the Pembury Junior Darts Club, contact Dan at 07947084266 for more information.

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