Radio Documentary (7+mins) – Dilemmas facing Young Darts Players in Stoke-on-Trent

Young darts players from Stoke Jake Jones (PDC World No.18) and Jamie Landon (PDC World No.12) talk about the financial challenges facing young players from Stoke- a largely working class area.  And could the Premier League be coming to the capital city of darts, or is money proving a stopping point? Features Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Andy Hamilton and Ian White- all from Stoke-on-Trent.

Audio Version

Indeed, it costs £200 to enter an adult tournament and £30 to enter a youth tournament. Usually players enter 3 youth tournaments a weekend to increase their chances of getting noticed by a sponsor, needed in order to attain funding. These costs do not include travel and accommodation, the financial burden that comes with going on tour.

This means many players from Stoke, a largely working class area, miss out on sponsorship and funding- if compared to the more wealthy and cosmopolitan areas such as London . These constraints are echoed by some of the elite players who can most certainly empathise with these young players who are in desperate need of a sponsor- a dilemma they themselves faced when trying to gain a professional status within the sport.

And with 3 of the top 10 world’s darts players from the city, perhaps sponsors may be best off looking in The Potteries. With a rich pool of unearthed talent, an unrivalled local league structure, a darts culture like no other and elite players still playing in the local leagues on a regular basis to provide unique inspiration, perhaps there will always be a revolving door of stars to provide the future generation of players from Stoke-on-Trent…

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Shane Ryan