PDC players Colin Osborne (left) and Wes Newton (right) with Stockport College Academy of Sport students Daniel Bowie (left), Iain Darbyshire (middle) and Dave Robinson (right)
THE Professional Darts Corporation and Unicorn Darts have teamed up with Stockport College to launch the first professional Darts Academy.
The unique Darts Academy will be a part of Stockport College’s highly successful Academy of Sport, and based at the Stockport College Town Centre Campus.
Equipped with Unicorn playing equipment, the Darts Academy will offer professional coaching for students alongside full-time education within Stockport College.
Stockport College Academy of Sport Manager Steve Mort said: “Due to the seven-year success of our Academy of Sport we felt that there was a unique opportunity to create the first ever professional Darts Academy in partnership with the PDC and sponsored by Unicorn.
“Players within the professional Darts Academy will benefit from full-time education and in addition from professional coaching in the sport.”
PDC stars Terry Jenkins, Colin Lloyd and Jelle Klaasen visited Stockport College in March and played exhibition games against a selection of students, as well as seeing the Academy of Sport’s facilities at first hand.
Mort added: “Since March we have been inundated with enquiries about our new professional Darts Academy, and the plans have now finally come into fruition and we are ready to welcome new players!
“The initial intake of players will be 16-19-year-olds but as the Academy develops we plan to broaden the age group of players who can join us.”
PDC Director Rod Harrington, who attended the launch of the Darts Academy along with leading professional players Colin Osborne and Wes Newton, said: “This is a very important step.
“This is the first ever professional Darts Academy and we hope others will follow the lead of Stockport College Academy of Sport.
“Development of future talent is something the Professional Darts Corporation take seriously in ensuring the ongoing growth of professional darts around the world.”
A number of independent darts academies have been formed in recent years around the UK, whose young players may now get the opportunity to compete against the Stockport College Academy of Sport students.
“Having championed and sponsored a number of darts academies in the past couple of years, we are now delighted to offer our support to the Stockport College Darts Academy,” said Unicorn Darts Managing Director Edward Lowy.
“This is the first time we have co-ordinated our sponsorship with the PDC and we hope it may signal the start of greater co-operation between us with academies.”
The Stockport College Darts Academy will:
- Provide participants aged 16-19 with the best opportunity to develop and excel while continuing their full-time education
- Provide participants with up to eight hours per week of practice, professional coaching and competition
- Provide competition in regional and national events
- Attendance at official PDC events
In addition, Stockport College provides a wide range of academic and/or vocational qualifications, excellent facilities and the expertise of professional staff.
Further information about the professional Darts Academy at Stockport College Academy of Sport can be found at www.stockport.ac.uk/sport or via 0161 958 3630.
Further information about the Professional Darts Corporation can be found at www.pdc.tv
Further information about Unicorn Darts can be found at www.unicorn-darts.com