FOR some people, throwing darts is just a way to pass the time when having a drink at the pub.
For others, though, it is a way of life.
Andrew Hooton-Shandley first became involved with the Powlett Darts Association 17 years ago when the association was looking for new players and he has stuck with it ever since.
Now serving as contest director, he is responsible for coordinating all of the association’s contests and competitions.
“Andrew puts an incredible amount of man hours into networking and sourcing sponsors, as well as trying to tee up people to attend the competitions and just putting our name out there,” said Victoria Smith, PDA president.
“Andrew does a great job with all that and he’s got all the right contacts.”
Currently, the association is in the midst of its winter competition season with 13 weeks remaining.
Each week, members of the association turn out to the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club for a game of straight star 501 darts.
On Tuesdays, players partake in the money competition, while on Wednesdays they do the social competition.
“It’s a friendly club that’s open to everyone,” said Hooton-Shandley.
“People can come out and drink, socialize and enjoy a night out.”
PDA members don’t just play in Wonthaggi, though.
Many of them travel to other areas like Phillip Island and Korumburra to compete at their dart associations.
One member, Rhys Mathewson, even traveled to Dandenong a couple weeks ago to compete against Jelle “The Cobra” Klaasen – ranked 10th best dart player in the world.
Hooton-Shandley says one of the benefits he has discovered from being involved with the darts association is the opportunity it provides for people who may not otherwise be able play most athletic sports, such as the elderly or people with disabilities.
PDA recently partnered with Connecting Skills Australia to help with the organisation’s mission to integrate adults with disabilities back into the community.
“Every Tuesday, we come in here and eight or 10 of them will come in and we’ll all just play darts,” said Hooton-Shandley.
“We get them back to interacting with the world.”
The Powlett Darts Association is currently planning for the upcoming Coal Miners Cup on August 6 and 7.
After the Coal Miners Cup, the association will begin planning for the Inter-College Darts Challenge in September.
People interested in playing with the Powlett Darts Association are encouraged to contact Hooton-Shandley at 0408 360 275.
Powlett Darts hits the mark