Future is bright for women’s darts
Retirement isn’t in the cards for five-time national singles champion Patricia Farrell
When it comes to darts in Canada, one Newfoundland and Labrador name stands out among the most notable - and for good reason.
On the results side of the board, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Patricia Farrell is as synonymous as Ontario’s John Part. The Codroy Valley native is tied for the most national singles titles with five with Part, and fellow Ontario dart player, Bob Sinnaeve. She won the national ladies singles title five times between 1987 and 2003.
This year marks the 24th consecutive time Farrell was named to a provincial dart’s team ( Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia). Although she couldn’t win her record-breaking sixth national singles title in Gander last month during the 2010 Adult National Dart Championships, Farrell said her aim is to eventually own the record.
“My goal is to get that sixth win so I can say, ‘ Those guys have to come back,’” she said with a laugh.
Farrell never advanced past the round of 16 at last month’s nationals, but considering how much darts she plays these days, was satisfied with her results. However, being a veteran on the national scene, Farrell knows how much time she has to put into throwing darts if she wants that sixth singles crown.
“ I’m just doing provincials and nationals, so I don’t get out to play the other players much. I finished in the top four at the Newfoundland and Labrador Open ladies’ singles event, a joint third-place finish, and a joint fifth-place finish,” she said. “ I was happy (with my nationals results) because, like I said, I’m not playing much anymore. I’m not shooting the darts I used to shoot, so until I put some time on the board, I have to expect these results.”
Just because Farrell only shoots darts during provincial and national events doesn’t mean she’s close to giving up playing competitively. Retirement isn’t in the cards just yet, as the five-time national singles champion said she’s simply having too much fun.
“ I have no intention giving up national darts in the near future. Something could happen, I guess, because you never know, but I have no intention on giving it up yet,” she said. “ The people keep bringing me back year after year, and it’s not just the darts. You meet a lot of nice people, and you become friends with a lot of them, too.”
Make no bones about it, Farrell, like everybody else at the national darts event in Gander last week, was there to win. However, she said after you take your shot, and after the game is over, everybody is friends.
“ Everybody gets along great, and everybody’s friends, and I think it shows on the line, and I think it shows on stage,” she said.
Farrell is one of the so-called nice people on the darts scene. A very personable competitor who’s very gracious in defeat, as well as victory, she has created quite a name for herself. When brining up the name Patricia Farrel l at national championships, a lot of people had similar reactions: “ She’s the person we all try to be like.” Farrell is taken back by such compliments.
“ That makes me feel great. I try to be gracious when I win and gracious when I lose... because darts can always be just a game,” she said. “ I’m hoping I’m setting an example that you can be gracious, and still be a good dart player.”
One of the people Farrell hopes to have a positive influence on is provincial team member Jenelle Legge, who finished second at the national ladies’ singles event this year behind Alberta’s Cindy Pardy, formerly from Newfoundland and Labrador.
“ I told Jenelle a few years ago that it’s time for her to take over the number one spot in the province,” said Farrell. “ She’s so young, and has her entire career in front of her. I would never mind coming second to Jenelle.”
Farrell, who was 14th on April’s national ranking’s list, is excited about the future of women’s darts in Canada. She also believes there are a lot of women in this province who are on the verge of making it big on the national scene.
“A lot of our top ladies that have made big names for themselves in darts are from Newfoundland and Labrador. Not only myself, I’m talking about people like Amy Earle and Gail King, and Pardy. I can’t wait to see her and Janelle bring darts to another level,” said Farrell. “ When I came on th e scene in 1987, I think I brought darts up a different level. I’m hoping those girls are going to be our up-and-coming stars. They’re so young, and they have their entire careers ahead of them. The way they’re shooting darts, the skies the limit.”
SEARCHING FOR SIX - Newfoundland and Labrador’s Patricia Farrell may have failed to collect her record-setting sixth national singles title in Gander, but the Codroy Valley native is confident the record will be hers.