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Darryn van der Velden is on a mission to grow darts as a competitive sport in Central Otago.

The Cromwell man is hosting the inaugural Central Lakes Darts Tournament in Cromwell this Saturday, bringing together all the clubs in the district for the first time.

In time, van der Velden eventually hopes to assemble a Central Lakes team to play in tournaments around New Zealand.

Aided by several sponsors, he has spent about $10,000 converting an old cherry packing house on his property into a darts room, with eight boards and a grandstand.

“It’s going to be pretty amazing to see.

“I think it’s probably the best in the region,” he said.

New Zealand pros Warren “Wazza” Parry, Desi Mercer and Darren Dummigan will also be there to inspire players with their skill and precision.

“We think we’re really good at, you know, playing in the garage.

“But when you see the pros in action, they really make you step up your game and make you a better player.”