Tuesday March 26: The annual awards of the Stichting Haagse Sportstimulering voor Gehandicapten (Foundation for Stimulation of Disability Sports in The Hague) were presented to the best athletes with disabilities from The Hague. It was good to see last year’s winner paradarts player Arie van der Rassel nominated again, and some great news for disability players was also announced.
At the end of the awards presentation, Chairman Hans Willink told all present the following breaking news:
“Our annual The Hague Disability Darts Invitational, the international darts tournament for dart players with disabilities, will become the inaugural European Championships Paradarts in 2020. This three-day tournament including a national team and individual events, will be held from May the 8th until May the 10th and will be supported by darts giant Winmau. Those dates may sound familiar to some of you present here today, it indeed is the opening weekend of the Invictus Games! The European Championship Paradarts is a tournament organised in cooperation with the Invictus Games and will be one of the side events the Municipality of The Hague will organise around these games”.
The World Disability Darts Association’s Russ Strobel said in reaction to this: “As President of the WDDA I express my delight at the inclusion of disability darts being run in cooperation with the Invictus Games in 2020. Of all adaptive sports, darts is perhaps uppermost in its support from the world’s highest governing body The World Darts Federation. The WDDA European Championships held at this time will demonstrate the opportunities that now exist in darts for those living with disability”.
Ian Flack, Sales and Marketing Director of Winmau, was also delighted with the news: “The inclusion of darts in conjunction with the 2020 Invictus Games and the establishment of the inaugural WDDA European Championships is such positive news for the sport and will raise awareness of the amazing standard now evident in the WDDA system. We are proud to be involved and our thanks to everyone from the WDDA and Stichting Haagse Sportstimulering voor Gehandicapten for making this dream a reality”.
The 2018 winner of The Hague Disability Darts Invitational Belgium’s Vincent D’hondt. Photo courtesy of: Richard Mulder