The latest in our New Year’s resolution series focuses on taking up a new hobby.
With Darts now being the second most watched sport (after football) on Sky, Connor Wigley, Chairman of the Northern Universities Darts League, says there isn’t a better time to join.
“If you’re at university, it’s one of the best sports to join. At our society there’s no membership cost, and equipment is cheap too. There’s absolutely no pressure on anyone, it’s just like a social occasion.
“Even if you’re not at university, just head down to the pub or sports club and there’ll be a way to get involved. Often there’s information on the internet too now.”
The 21-year-old, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, says the stigma associated with Darts isn’t true anymore and it’s in recovery.
“Many think that it’s fat old men who play darts, but it isn’t. The top level advertising and marketing has made a lot more people aware.”
He says people who are in a personal rut should get out there and try something new.
“It’s the old ‘New Year, New Me’ cliché but there’s a lot to be said for it. It can only be a good thing to try something new.
“Get out there, meet new people, try something different. Push yourself and you might be pleasantly surprised.”
Now in his third year studying Geography, Connor went to the University of Manchester hoping to find a darts society.
“I’ve loved Darts since I was young and wanted to join a society but there wasn’t one set up.
“Seeing my friends at other universities playing regularly, I decided to start one here and now we have around 25 members who come to sessions weekly.”
He said his love of darts stems from watching on BBC when he was younger.
“I’ve a very vivid memory of watching the final of Lakeside on the last Sunday of the Christmas school holidays. It’s stuck with me since then.
“I’ve been playing for a good few years now but I can’t stress how easy it is to get into. It’s not taken overly seriously by any society I’ve seen.”
The society enters into the Northern Universities Darts League, along with societies from Sheffield and Nottingham, amongst others.
But the show piece is the Big Weekender, ran by University Darts UK.
Over 200 competitors take part in team and individual events over two days.
This years’ event takes place in Sheffield in March.
It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution to take up a new sport, maybe that could be darts.