Canadian darter Ken MacNeil, the number one darter in Canada last year, tells about the trials and tribulations necessary in order to stay on top in Canada’s darts.
Stalbert Gazette by Peter Boer:
If you’ve ever found yourself channel-surfing at 3 a.m., you’ve probably paused on one of Canada’s two sports networks and watched a game of darts.
You’ve probably also kept on clicking, muttering to yourself that darts is no game for a sports network.
“It’s not considered a sport, it’s considered a game,” says Ann Marie Farmer, a Cardiff resident and top-16 darts player in Alberta. “That’s the difference. But it is a sport. I feel anyways that it requires skill and strategy.”
Farmer isn’t alone in her sentiments. Her partner Ken “Silverdart” MacNeil was the number-one ranked darts player in Canada last year and is climbing back up the rankings in 2008. After a strong finish at Edmonton’s SnoFlake Open two weeks ago, when MacNeil lost in the tournament final, he’s back in the top 10. But MacNeil has only one goal in mind this year — he doesn’t just want the number one ranking in the country, he wants to win the Canadian championship.
“There’s more praise going to that title than there is travelling the country all year long, earning points and earning the title of number one in Canada,” MacNeil says. “Anyone can have a good day and go in and win the national championships. That’s my next goal.”
That goal, however, is extremely difficult to accomplish and its prestige is given little media attention. While international tournaments in Europe draw pages of newspaper coverage, Canadian John Part’s victory as world champion last month merited only a brief mention in the sports section of national newspapers.
“In England he can’t walk down the street and not be recognized,” says MacNeil.
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