Bullseye for darts teens

This article is from page 15 of the 2012-07-31 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 15 JPG

CLARE may be known for various sporting achievements but few would consider darts in the line-up.

However, four of the six members of the under-age darts team that has returned from a successful European championship are from the Banner county.

The Clare teenagers include Eoin Lahiff (14) and Brendan Casey (13) from Kilrush and Ennistymon’s Darragh Clancy (17) and James Youdell (12).

The Clare teens travelled with their teammates, two girls from Sligo and Galway, to Antwerp, Belgium last week.

Their entourage included their par- ents or guardians as the team was one of the youngest competing in the under 18 European Championship.

Proud mother to Eoin, Catherine Lahiff told The Clare People that the team did exceptionally well, finishing seventh in a competition where the majority of the competitors were significantly older.

The Irish team was successful in their group, but were beaten in the next stage by an experienced Dutch team who went on to win the competition.

However, seventh place was considered a significant achievement.

Success comes at a cost of dedication and commitment not just for the participants but their parents also.

Each week, the Clare teenagers train with the Ennistymon club and also travel to Clarecastle. The boys also play in adult competitions to keep their skills sharp.

“The parents are on the road the whole time, as we drive them all over the country to competitions,” said Ms Lahiff.

But there are many advantages to darts, according to Ms Lahiff. Not only does it provide an interest and social interaction for young people, it also significantly improves their maths and arithmetic skills.

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