For most, throwing darts is a leisurely activity and, more often than not, the dart is off its target. On the other end of the spectrum are the pros - the dedicated enthusiasts who practice hours on end each week and hit their mark time and time again.
Just like any other sport, darts has developed its own competitive leagues and its fair share of young prodigies.
Twelve-year-old Cohen Campbell is one of them.
The Paradise resident recently took part in the 2019 Youth National Darts Championship. The sharp shooter played in individual and doubles events at the national tournament in Saskatoon. He finished first in junior singles, third in World Masters qualifiers, second in the bursary shoot, and won the junior mixed doubles alongside Emily Alford from the Halifax area.
His skill comes from hours of hard work, but it’s also in his blood. He has been playing darts since he was eight, and picked the sport up from his father, who often practiced in their basement.
His dad competes in National Darts Federation of Canada (NDFC) events.
Aside from taking home several trophies, Cohen was awarded $500 towards his post-secondary education (not that he has to have that figured out any time soon).
He also had the opportunity to play against another Nova Scotian player to be the alternate for the World Masters in Romania. If either player who made Team Canada is unable to make the tournament, Cohen will be the first to get the call.
His impressive performance at the tournament aided Team Nova Scotia in clinching a silver medal they would share with Team Newfoundland. Team Ontario won gold.
The tournament wasn’t all competitive all the time, Cohen says.
“My favourite part about the sport is meeting new people, seeing old friends, and just getting to play darts with them.”
In between events, the young throwers were having a blast exploring the city of Saskatoon and swimming in their hotel’s pool. Once the hotel’s dartboard was spotted, players practiced through the night in friendly matchups.
Cohen has no intentions of slowing down his game. His success at nationals has only fueled him to keep getting better.
“I’m going to keep practicing, join a few leagues, and hopefully make the team again next year.”