Fu­ture is bright for women’s darts

Re­tire­ment isn’t in the cards for five-time na­tional sin­gles cham­pion Pa­tri­cia Far­rell

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY MATT MOL­LOY info@ gan­der­bea­con. ca

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.”

Matt Mol­loy/The Bea­con

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.

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