GOLDEN touches celebrated a special occasion for women’s darts players in Bognor Regis.
The trophies presented at the 50th anniversary presentation night of the Bognor Regis Ladies Darts League were covered in gold dust and the glasses awarded to many of the individual winners were engraved with gold writing.
The league’s chairman, Lyndsay Steege, said: “The girls have kept the league going for 50 years and the fact the league is very much a family. It’s all about going out with the girls and having a laugh.
“We have lost a few pubs over the years but we have amalgamated the teams and kept them going.
“We could do with more younger players. Some teams are down to the bare minimum of six players.
“The men’s leagues don’t seem to have a problem with that but men’s darts gets a lot more publicity than we do. We don’t get a mention at all.”
The presentation night took place in the Riverside Caravan Centre’s ballroom last week. A host of awards were lined up for the winners from the 180 guests present. The tables had decorations which marked the 50 years the league has been playing on Monday nights.
There are 24 teams, down from 32, as the number of pubs has shrunk. They are split into three divisions rather than the original two.
Cheers and applause greeted the winners as they received the rewards for their skills in the league season from last September. Among them was 98-year-old Rene Arnold who has a certificate from Guinness World Records as the oldest darts player.
She turns out weekly with the Newtown Sports and Social Club’s ‘D’ team. She said: “I’ve been playing for about 31 years in the league and it’s some 40 years since I started playing darts.
“It’s a night out with the girls and I enjoy them every week.”
One of her team-mates, Linda Burley, who won the Division Two indidivual’s cup, said: “We worked in a factory, Tam Transformers in Durban Road, and that’s how we got Rene started in the league.
“My mum and dad had a dartboard when I was about ten and I used to play on it.
“I started playing properly when I was 18 and I’m now 52. I enjoy going out each week and having a bit of fun.
“We get on well. I want to be playing darts when I’m 98 like Rene.”
The trophies were presented by popular top darts player Scott Mitchell.
The British Darts Organisation number three ranked player made his second appearance at the event after being the special guest in 2016.
“I’ve really enjoyed coming back. You are the best presentation night I have done,” he said. “It’s down to you girls. This league is going to keep going for another 50 years in my opinion.
“A league is only as good as the people who run it and you ladies are absolutely amazing.”