Well, that’s better! It’s brilliant to be back playing actual one-on-one darts.
Firstly congratulations to, my fellow North Easterner, Glen Durrant on his tremendous performance in the Premier League. As he said he has Teeside steel inside.
For us mere mortals it was back to work, not quite so good, then to actual sessions with my coach, before heading back to the competitive oche. In all honesty, it took a bit of getting used to. Results were decent enough, but getting a new consistency level is not easy after many weeks of unstructured practice.
We started with some baby steps at my local singles league a few weeks back. The league coped very well with lockdown and held two remote ‘seasons’ , with the relaxation of restrictions our organiser, Daz Brown, worked closely with the venue to get live darts back on.
Despite a reduction in the numbers who can attend each week the evenings have proven very successful. Socially it’s gratifying to be back sharing the banter, and a beer or two, with old friends and even rivals!
The Cleveland Festival provided a timely opportunity to get back to Teeside and combine visiting family with more competitive darts. It was great to get some legs and matches under my belt. A decent run to the last sixteen was brought to an end by …….. who went on to claim the event. By now I could definitely begin to feel the return of my pre lockdown improvements and was looking forward to more. Many thanks to Clare Stamper for staging such an efficiently run event in these tough times.
It’s always nice to be acknowledged for things you have achieved in your chosen area, so it was my pleasure to be interviewed for a documentary about how darts has changed over the last dozen years or so. To be taken through your career, by someone young enough to be your child, is both a compliment and slightly strange. Being put on the spot about your favourite moments or even regrets can be quite eye-opening. The list of those offering their insight to the project looks very impressive. I look forward to seeing the end results.
A bit like number 19 buses acknowledgments never seem to come one at a time. I have also joined the cast of players who sport their own ‘player card’, it’s not a bad-looking piece of memorabilia if I say so myself.
Never fear Wizard followers all this off the oche activity, while very pleasant, has not resulted in me wallowing in nostalgia. Indeed we have doubled down on preparing for the challenges of the rest of 2020.
Whether it’s Open events, singles leagues, or the Challenge Tour, rest assured that ‘The Wizard’ intends to take full advantage of the opportunity to be back doing my favourite thing. Lockdown had many challenges, for all, but also came with a reminder to appreciate everything you have and make the most of the chances you’re given.
I hope to see you Darts World readers at an event soon.
Stay safe and play darts. And UTB!
Words: Colin Osborne
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