There a few sports that men and women can compete on an equal footing. The main reason, strength and endurance. When women play in a male-dominated sport, they are usually confined to a lady’s version of the sport. i.e. football, cricket, rugby and athletics. There are, however, other sports such as darts that sex, age or indeed disability isn’t an issue.
In the modern era of the sport of darts, Trina Gulliver MBE has been a dominant force. She has won every major title open to ladies darts any many more than once. Trina has won the convective ‘BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships’ a total of 10 times. Captained England to success in the World Cup and won the World Masters five times.
Ladies darts has always been looked upon as a side spectator version of the male-dominated men’s game and hasn’t been given the recognised recognition it truly deserves until recently.
Darts is a sport associated with pubs, clubs and drinking; it always will be, however, a professional player takes the game seriously and will moderate their drinking, as many now prefer to drink water or in the case of two times PDC World Darts Champion, Gary Anderson, coffee is his only tipple when playing.
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Women’s darts have come a long way and hit the headlines across the World within the last month. Fallon Sherrock and Mikuru Suzuki both won a place at the 2020 PDC World Darts Championships by virtue of a UK and Worldwide knockout competitions. The days have gone when the women may have won a leg against a male counterpart. Both Fallon and Mikuru both throw some outstanding darts.
Mikuru was narrowly beaten in the last leg decider in her first-round while Fallon made history winning her first round and then beating the No.11 seed Mensur Suljovic in the second earning her the biggest single event prize money of her career, £25,000. Fallon’s achievement went global hitting newspaper headlines, TV news and prompting tennis star legend, Billie Jean King, to tweet Fallon was a game-changer. Indeed, it was for Fallon, lady’s darts and darts in general.
Ladies have never shied away from playing against male competitors, and a vast number compete in the PDC Q-School to try and win a converted two-year PDC tour card. The highlight contested four-day event in the UK is simultaneously played in Europe. This year only 31 tour cards were available and with over 800 players taking part in the UK and European event, only players, playing at the highest level achieved their ambition to win and compete on the PDC professional circuit. With over £14m in a yearly prise pot, it is understandable why some many compete in this event.
Former four times Ladies World Champion Lisa Ashton was victorious at Q-School and will now switch from BDO events to the PDC for the next two year at the very least. Lisa will be an outside tip to do well on the 2020 PDC circuit. Her game is good and she shows no fear on the dartboard. Again, like Fallon, Lisa made history as the first lady to win a PDC tour card. Even former World Champion, Scott Mitchell could not make this year’s grade. However, I am sure he along with many other hopefuls will try again.
Expect more young ladies to pick up the arrows over the coming years as the darts circuit is lucrative and if any player is good enough, they too could become millionaires in just a few years.