Brits take triples title
GIVEN the darts-playing calibre and experience of this year’s contingent from Britain, United States and Canada, it came as no surprise that the English triples team of Jamie Robson, Derek Jacklin and Paula Jacklin took the final title of this year’s Brydens Barbados Darts Festival.
In the final they defeated the team comprising Norman Madhoo and Sudesh Fitzgerald from Guyana and Ann-Marie James from Trinidad.
This trio had already disposed of the Bajan team of Anthony Forde, Donnie Inniss and Maureen Shepherd in the semi-final, while the other semi-final was an all-English affair which saw the previously conquering Paul and Helen Harvey and Don Kippax lose out for once.
This year’s festival, the ninth of its kind, witnessed the strongest ever contingent of players from outside of the region, with players from the US and Canada competing for the first time. Very few of the Caribbean players could cope with the sustained concentration, accuracy and dedicated approach of the visitors.
Darts throughout the region lacks the structure and organisation that is available to players in Britain, US and Canada. In fact, Andrew Lewis, CEO of Brydens Distribution, the title sponsors of the festival, made this point in his closing remarks.
He commented on the fact that the top group of players in the Caribbean had not really had to cope with challenges from a group of young pretenders eager to topple them from a long-established perch.
The clubs in Britain, US and Canada have a well-established youth development programme but this has been very slow to take root here in the Caribbean. Lewis called upon all those who wanted to see darts thrive to work to encourage greater participation from the youngsters by providing a structure calculated to develop their darting skills.
Festival director Michael Heal echoed those sentiments.
“More darts clubs and a willingness for all darts players to share in and contribute more to the administration and organisation of the game at all levels is the only way for the game to grow, improve standards and attract young players,” he said.
“Darts clubs in [Britain] have a host of unpaid officials who give up their time to run club affairs and local leagues. They also operate a strict disciplinary code when it comes to player availability, turning up and starting matches on time, dress code and code of conduct for both players on the oche and spectators.
“Darts players in the Caribbean would do well to emulate these traits if they want to see the game in the region thrive and improve overall standards,” Heale added.
“This year’s festival attracted the most participants ever – particularly from overseas. In all, 63 people came from Britain, US and Canada, 27 from St Lucia, ten from Trinidad, four from Guyana and two from the Cayman Islands.”
Heal also noted the passing of Trevor Lloyd, the long-serving president of the Caribbean Darts Organisation, who died at the event last Friday night from a mssive heart attack.
“All participants were deeply shocked because he was someone who had contributed enormously to the life of darts in the region,” he said.
“It was therefore a fitting gesture from Andrew Lewis of Brydens to anounce that from 2011 the qualifier for the PDC World Championship would be renamed the Trevor Lloyd Caribbean and South American Masters.” (PR)