Joachim Idada, chief executive of FIJI Ventures Limited; a leading sports and entertainment content marketing company and founder of African Sports Entertainment and News Network Television was the guest at the Monday, 13th August edition of Sports Effizy with Igos, a daily live sports program that airs on Wazobia FM from 2.00 – 3.00pm. The Sports of Darts was the topic of discussion.
The Darts Federation of Nigeria, an affiliate of the World Darts Federation (WDF) is the governing body for Darts in Nigeria. Prior to the formation of Darts Federation of Nigeria (DFN), Darts was organized under the platform of the All Nigeria Darts Federation (ANDF) comprising mainly of clubs.
Darts first featured in the 15th National sports festival (NSF), Abeokuta Gateway games in 2006 as a medal sport after featuring as an exhibition sports at the 2 earlier editions and has featured in 4 editions of the National sports festival; Ogun, Kaduna, Ports- Harcourt and Benin.
At the Darts Stakeholder Summit in 2017, Idada Joachim presented a paper; ” Transiting from game to sport” where is canvassed that the existence of a single governing body for Darts was detrimental to the sport. He advocated that professional darts be encouraged
Speaking on the challenges facing the development of Darts, Idada Joachim identified the classification of Darts as an optional sport by the Ministry of Sports and the low recreational activities in homes is responsible for the low interest in sports like Darts and many other sports.
The Ministry of Sports classifies optional sports as non-compulsory sports. This means that the organizing LOC for any NSF are at liberty to feature only four optional sport and any event. The dichotomy had indirectly influenced the attitude of many state sports administrators, ministry of education, media and even the general public towards the sport.
He further noted that the attitude of the major media organization towards sports like darts had greatly affected the public awareness and acceptance. Calling on the media to offer equal coverage for all sports, he said
“Media must give equal opportunity to all sports to flourish”
While illustrating how the sports is played, he compared the ’01 darts game as similar to a financial transaction that requires a person who has 501 Naira in his bank account and is expected to continuously withdraw from that money in a particular order with N180 being the maximum at any particular instant; until he has no more money left in the account. However, the final withdrawal must be a particular amount otherwise it will be considered invalid.
The game of darts is a precision sport where a player is expected to throw three arrows from a particular distance called Oche from a circular board placed 7 ft 9 1⁄4 inches (2.36855 m) from the players with the board center positioned 5 ft 7 1⁄4 inches from the ground comprising 6 concentric circles which are further divided into equal segment that carry scores. The center of the board is the Bull’s eye, coloured Red with a 50 point score surrounded by the inner bull with a 25 point score. Separating the single score region is the triple score ring and the double ring lying at the periphery of the board. Any arrow that falls into the triple and double score ring have their score value multiplied by 3 and 2 respectively. The total score is the sum of the total score obtained after 3 consecutive throws.
Responding to the question regarding public accessibility and available of darts clubs or centers, he noted that people do not necessarily have to be members of the exclusive clubs to have access to the game. He encouraged people to provide the equipment in their homes as a way of increasing family access to the sport.
Recommending the need to have more recreation activities in homes as a way to increasing access to sports like darts. He said;
“We need to have more recreation in homes in addition to having darts in schools”
Outlining some of the benefits of darts, Idada Joachim noted that darts enable people to overcome the fear of mathematics, enjoy and professional darts has a lot of economic potentials.