Angara pushes for the recognition of darts as a full-fledged sport

Published April 19, 2018, 4:09 PM

by iManila Developer

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Thursday threw his support to efforts that seek to recognize darts as a full-fledged sport in the local and international arena, saying it is comparable to other games that require skills, discipline, and precision.

Senator Sonny Angara (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Sonny Angara (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

The senator said darts should be a part of sports competition here and abroad, particularly in the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Games.

Angara said that while darts is considered a favorite past time of those drinking liquors, its importance should be elevated in the country’s sports community.

“But I would argue that it’s more than that because of the growing popularity of darts across the globe,” said Angara who was a guest of honor at the 1st Philippine Open 2018 – International Darts Tournament in Leyte, which was participated in by competitors from 14 other countries.

Angara, likewise, believes that darts is a sport wherein Filipinos can excel in, citing the international achievements in the past of local darters like Melvin Kent Pelona and Lovely Mae Orbeta who won the Selangor 2018 Dart Championship organized by the Malaysia Dart Association last February.

He also hailed Lourence Ilagan who clinched the top spot from compatriot Christian Perez during the World 2013 Soft Darts Championships in Hong Kong; and Filipino-Austrian Rowby John Rodriguez who won the Austrian National Championships in 2010.

The senator said research shows that the TV viewership of the world championships organized by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), the most popular association comprising of darters from all over, continues to grow.

In the 2015-2016 PDC World Championship, the number of TV viewers hit 6.86 million, or an increase of about 20 percent from the previous year, and in Canada alone, TV viewership tripled during the same period.

“Darts demand skills, precision, discipline, and maybe enough athleticism to be considered a full-fledged sport,” said Angara who is vice chair of the Senate sports committee.

“It’s a game that anybody can play as long as they can throw an arrow. Lahat pwedeng makasama—matangkad man or maliit, kaliwete man o kanan,” he said.

He also expressed hope that the 1st Philippine Open-International Darts Tournament would set the stage for more international competitions for the country.

“Now is the time for the rest of the world to know that not only Filipinos know how to play a good game of darts. They also know how to run world-class tournaments,” added the senator.

Angara lauded former Representative Bem Noel and his colleagues from the Darts Organization of Tacloban and the National Darts Federation of the Philippines for organizing the event.

Active participants were from the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Croatia, Poland, Austria, England, France, Indonesia, and Brunei.