Clive Woodward: Darts deserves its chance at the Olympics

The sport is continuing to grow around the world

BY Daniel Kelly 08:21 Wednesday 4 January 2017, 8:21 4 Jan 2017

Picture by Anthony Devlin PA Archive/PA Images

Calls for darts to be turned into an Olympic sport never fail to go away.

While the sport is traditionally dominated by British players, it's popularity is growing. 25 countries will be represented in both versions of the World Championships this year.

On Tuesday's Off the Ball, Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark admitted he felt the World Championships should remain as the pinnacle of the game, and he was not in favour of the sport gaining Olympic-status. Despite Clark's expert opinion, former England Rugby head coach Clive Woodward feels the sport is worthy of a slot.

Despite being best known for his heroics in guiding England to their 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph, he is well respected in Olympic circles. Woodward worked with the British Olympic Association for six years between 2006 and 2012.

In a column for the Daily Mail, Woodward feels the sport of darts deserves a spot on the Olympic roster.

"The world of sport is evolving, the Olympics is evolving and I want to see darts in the Games. Easier said than done, but it ticks all the boxes."

"Darts is a sport of and for the people and that is what the modern-day Olympics is striving very hard to reflect. If you made darts an Olympic sport tomorrow, almost overnight millions of men and women from the age of 15 to 65 would suddenly nurture private hopes and ambitions that they could be Olympic champions. It's that accessible."

"Darts is incredibly skillful. Once in a lifetime, you or me might score 180. But the top guys — and girls — reel them off in the white heat of competition in front of a raucous crowd and in front of TV millions. That takes nerve and talent. [Michael] Van Gerwen and [Gary] Anderson clocked up 42 maximums in the final on Monday night alone. Incredible."

Woodward remains one of the most revered sporting names in British sport. Darts may never reach the Olympic level, but it certainly helps to have somebody like Woodward on board to support it.

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