21 March, 2023

Scotland has long been a vital cog in the darting landscape, with heroes in the shape of Jocky Wilson and Gary Anderson, to mavericks of our game in the shape of Peter 'Snakebite' Wright. It could well be a bright future down the road for Scotland, with the academy system taking shape and backing from some of the country's top professionals.

A first foray into Junior Darts for Scotland came in 2018, as four of their brightest young talents were sent to Bristol for the JDC World Championship. Recent World Youth Championship finalist, Nathan Girvan, was a stand-out performer that weekend as the seeds were planted for what we're seeing today.

Lead by now PDC tour card holder, Alan Soutar, Craig Mitchell was an onlooker in Team Scotland that weekend. He now oversees seven academies in his home country, as juniors from far and wide battle to make the World Championships.

There are now opportunities for juniors from all over Scotland to practice darts in a friendly safe environment with the help of the JDC. Academy routines and tournaments are tailored to a player's ability and make sure they have maximum opportunity to progress and enjoy their darts. Speaking to Josh Green, Craig said: "Back in 2018, there was only really one academy who provided kids to the JDC, but now we have seven, the phone never stops ringing for kids wanting to join. The progression has been phenomenal over the years, and I can't wait to see how we progress."

Craig recently attended the UK Open with son Connor, who represented Team Scotland at the 2018 JDC World Cup. There were more than ten JDC representatives competing in Minehead, including for JDC World Champions Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, Keane Barry and Jurjen Van der Velde. Even after five years has passed, these relationships still exist, a vital part of being involved in Junior Darts.

Craig told me: "The kids have the chance to build relationships and speak to youngsters from other countries, it's invaluable experience and something they will hold on to for all of their lives". This year, many more juniors will have the chance to travel to Gibraltar for the JDC World Championships, an opportunity not just to show what they're made of on the oche, but a chance to build those relationships that may last a lifetime.

For more information on JDC Scotland please visit the 'Academies' section at There are currently four JDC accredited academies taking on new members, these are as follows Angus Darts Academy, JDC Fife, Strathearn Youth Darts Academy and North Ayrshire Darts Academy. The JDC is also in the process of setting up brand new academies in Luncarty, Peebles and Glenrothes.



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