Age: 32
Place of birth:  Belfast
Where you live: Belfast
Club/Association: North Belfast Dart League (CB Archers)
Your Sport: Darts
Your earliest sporting memory: The 1988 European Championship Final between Holland and the USSR
Your sporting idol: Roy Keane
Best piece of advice you could give to a young athlete: Enjoy it and play for pride
The most important thing for sporting success is: Dedication and practise.

 

I all started on my 13th Birthday when I got a dart board and I always played darts in Kevin O’Reilly Snr’s kitchen. It must be a good 20 years ago. I tried to get a dart team together to play out of the CBPPU for eight years before we finally managed to get a team together to play in the Divis Dart League. The CB Archers were beaten 4-3 in a play-off for the league title in our first year.

I then moved to Clonakility, Co Cork were I joined Bernie’s Bar Dart Team and enjoy a great six months with them before returning home to the Archers. After another year in the Divis League, the North Belfast Dart League was reformed, where teams were small (five-a-side) and could accommodate our numbers.

After almost two years we have sixteen teams all from North Belfast (with more teams applying to join next year) with both men, women and all sections of the community toeing the ‘oche’ every Tuesday Night.

I have been the NBDL Secretary for the past two years and was also the Press Officer last year. I’m currently self-employed along with putting in around twenty hours a week contributing to the running of the NBDL, I enjoy spending time with my partner and kids.

I am firm believer that you get out what you put in and that you can only give 100 percent, but I am of the belief that by putting in that extra ten percent that is why we are where we are today in the NBDL, and it will only get bigger.

 

Age: 33
Place of birth: Belfast
Where you live: Belfast
Club/Association: The North Belfast Darts League
Your Sport: DARTS
Your earliest sporting memory: It was a Sunday afternoon and I was standing in the hall way of my parents home when my father came in with at the time what I thought to be the biggest trophy in the world. It was the original North Belfast Darts League individual trophy which he had just won for the third time. He came over to me, bent down and said, “What do you think of that son? No one else has won this trophy three times.” I asked him could I have it and he said “no, you have to win it.” Those words have never left me to this day.

Your sporting idol: Philip ‘The Power’ Taylor

Best piece of advice you could give to a young athlete: Believe in yourself, work hard, treat people the way you would like to be treated and there’s no such word as ‘can’t’.

The most important thing for sporting success is: If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Some people have natural talent and some people have to work very hard to achieve it.

In my teens I was a cross community youth worker for a local youth club. I think this gave me the idea of community and overcoming adversity. I’m a retail store manager for over fourteen years for one of the biggest sports retailer in Europe.

I’m married to the most beautiful and strongest women in the world called Sara. I am the father of two amazing boys called Ben aged six and Jack aged five, my family is my reason for living and for all that I do. As far as I can remember there has always been a dart board in my house and it was the first sport that I knew of.

My father used to play my younger brother and I darts in the kitchen and he never let us win. This has given both of us good determination to try hard in everything we do.

It was my father that planted the seed of starting up The North Belfast Darts League again after it stopped many years ago (I think it was so he could get another night out!). The league was started on the question of what did North Belfast need? So we decided it was to be the first and only mixed  gender and mixed religion league in all of Ireland. The love of darts has spread quickly though the North with 16 teams and growing.