Local Legion will serve up venue for darts

With the B.C. Seniors Games coming to the West Kootenay from Aug. 16 to 20., the Trail Times is featuring the sports, chairs and facilities that will be at the forefront in Trail when over 3,000 athletes arrive in the region.

Compared to other sports in the B.C. Seniors Games, the popularity of darts is one of the fastest growing.

Ten years ago the event attracted less than 75 players but for the last five years the event has featured over 100 players on a consistent basis.

So having a venue large enough to accommodate that many players and games, West Kootenay organizers turned to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #11.

Glenda Riley, chair for the darts event, said the Columbia Ave., facility was happy to accept the role after being approached by organizers.

“They asked us because of the size of our venue, it’s on level ground and there are no stairs to go up.”

Although Riley is the chair she is quick to acknowledge that Mike Leeworthy is the resident expert on the sport.

While Leeworthy will handle the draw and setting up for the Games, Riley is getting a sense of what to expect in August.

The Legion has hosted zone tournaments before but nothing on this scale, said Riley.

“They had over 100 players last year (in Comox Valley and Campbell River). Mark is in the process of getting in touch with the event organizers from last year to find out how many boards they used.

“The last time we had a large zone tournament I think we had about 20 up. They’re talking about (using) 30 boards but it will depend on the number of people.”

One thing she will need is a solid volunteer base.

“We’re probably going to need people for registration, scorekeepers and basically a few people mulling around making sure everything is in order.

“Scorekeepers are going to be the bulk of our volunteer need. You have to be able to count backwards, which is the challenge.”

As for the challenge facing the darts committee, Riley said the bulk of the work will come just prior to the Games.

“Our big thing is going to be the set-up, getting the boards together.”