The banter was sharp an the darts were on point for the inaugural Central Lakes Darts Tournament on Saturday
Held in a purpose-built darts room in a converted Cromwell packhouse, the event attracted more than 40 players from Alexandra, Cromwell, Glenorchy, Queenstown and Wanaka vying to be crowned Central Lakes champion.
For organiser Darryn van der Velden, seeing his dream come true was “amazing”.
“It’s been a lot of positive energy. There’s great excitement for the region, and I think everyone’s had a great day.”
Professional players Desi Mercer, Darren Dummigan and Tahi Parata wowed players with their precision and van der Velden hoped they would provide motivation for local players.
“It’s been massive inspiration and achievement; they’ve really shown us how to play.
“Their accuracy and skill is another level and I hope people can see that, and hopefully, one day they can be up to par with that as well,” he said.
Van der Velden said his aim was to develop the sport in the region.
During Saturday’s event, club players took under their wings those recently enticed out of the garage, to show them how tournaments worked.
“Hopefully we can encourage all the garage players in the community to come out and join the clubs stronger in the region, grow the community and hopefully one day have our own Central Lakes regional team.”
Queenstown player John Nicholson said it was “brilliant” to see the region’s darts community come together.
“[Van der Velden] saw it, he had a dream and he did it.”
A combined effort saw Glenorchy-Queenstown claim the teams event.
In the singles, Dummigan, of Invercargill, won the championship final; Kris Bahler, of Alexandra, won the consolation final; while Dion Boland, of Queenstown was crowned 2021 Central Lakes champion.