Darts club target a new mindset on the game
DARTS: Playing darts has not only allowed 68-year-old Lorraine Hill to represent her state, but it has also drastically improved her arithmetic skills.
She first started throwing darts when she was 18 but took a long hiatus before returning to the game over the past decade.
There are plenty of variations but a basic game of darts will see players start on a score of 501.
Throwing three darts per turn, players need to reduce their score down to exactly zero points and have to finish by hitting a double, or the outside ring of the board, to win.
Good technique is a must but if you can't add up, it doesn't count for much.
"I couldn't add up in my head until I started (playing darts),” Lorraine smiled.
"Now I'm pretty good at it. I just love it.”
Lorraine considers herself the darting "matriarch” of her family, as her daughter and her grandchildren all followed her into the game.
That includes 17-year-old granddaughter Tory Ellis.
They both represented Queensland at separate national championships this year.
Lorraine headed down to Sydney in the middle of the year for her first national titles and Troy travelled to Tasmania in January for her second trip with the Queensland team.
"(Competing at the championships) was my dream come true,” Lorraine said.
"Our ladies team came third, we got the bronze medal.”
The teenager will represent her state for a third time this January.
"I used to play netball,” Tory said.
"I loved that as well but that fell on the same night as playing darts did so I guess I chose darts over netball.
"(I enjoy) the mindset of it all and the people that you get to meet... and the atmosphere.
"The last two years I've represented Queensland I've come seventh in all of Australia. My big goal would be to beat that (next year).”
They are both members of the Lockyer Darts Association, which is based in Laidley and home to around 70 other like-minded players.
Club registrar David Grech said 2018 had been a good year for the group with a number of representative selections.
He wanted to dispel the common misconception that darts was simply was a pub game.
"We're trying to change the mindset of people so that we can start encouraging more youngsters to come along and understand that it's not a game where you get drunk and throw a few darts,” Grech said.
"It's a professional sport. The beauty of darts is we can play in any condition.
"It's probably the cheapest game for buying gear that you can work from a beginner to playing for Australia. All you need is a set of darts and some time.”
They play on a Wednesday night and hold coaching sessions on Tuesdays with members ages ranging from 11 to players in their 70s.
The club has existed for around half a century with some of the oldest members first starting as there as juniors - to get involved call 0407 179 282.