A LOCAL darts league is hoping to get more youngsters involved in the sport to help ‘secure its future’.

Clydebank and District Darts League, which is now in its third season, want to see more young people picking up their first set of darts following the recent World Championships.

The “sensational” event was held at Alexandra Palace in London and saw 16-year-old Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler make it all the way to the finals.

Clydebank Post: Luke Littler at the 2023 PDC World Darts ChampionshipsLuke Littler at the 2023 PDC World Darts Championships (Image: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire/PA Images)Robert McLachlan, who plays out of the Atlantis Bar in Kilbowie, told the Post he hopes the league will be able to keep the momentum of the Championships going locally.

Clydebank Post: Robert McLachlanRobert McLachlan (Image: Newsquest Staff)The 67-year-old said: “Luke Littler has definitely had an influence on kids because it’s like anything else, kids look for role models and when they see somebody at that age doing what he did, which was absolutely sensational, it will pique their interest.

“We have 12 teams in the league right now and we want to keep the interest going. We would like every team to have some youngsters playing for them.

“We would like to keep the momentum of the World Championships going because locally it’s quite an old sport, there’s only a few youngsters involved in our league but we want to take it to the next level.

“If we can get more youngsters involved now the future of this league would be secured for years to come.”

Clydebank Post: Members of Clydebank & District Darts LeagueMembers of Clydebank & District Darts League (Image: Clydebank & District Darts League)Prior to the Covid pandemic, there were two darts leagues in Clydebank but these folded, forcing players to travel to Paisley and Glasgow to get games.

Robert explained that after lockdown a number of local arrow enthusiasts said they weren’t keen on travelling out of the area anymore and so the current league was formed. It covers Clydebank, Drumchapel, and Yoker.

Thomas McColgan, another member of the league who plays out of Chandlers, has been involved in the sport since he was just four years old regularly attending competitions with his mum, dad, stepdad, and gran.

The 31-year-old highlighted some issues the league has encountered in encouraging more youth players but revealed the ways in which it is working to overcome these.

Clydebank Post: He said: “This is the first season that we’ve had such young players actively getting involved. When we first started we weren’t sure what to do if this situation (kids wanting to compete) arose because we knew predominantly most games were held in pubs and social clubs so where would they stand? How long could they stay? To what extent could they be in the venues etc?

“Now we’ve got more of a system up and running it’s been encouraging to see messages come into our Facebook inbox from parents, grandparents, and guardians asking about getting their son or daughter interested in the sport.

“We always encourage kids to come along to the tournaments on Saturdays as these are private functions and therefore shut off to the public.

“We’ve been speaking about what the best way to start a junior league would be including looking for alcohol-free venues on a Sunday.

“There’s four/five of us who predominantly run the league and we would happily give up our time because we know it’s a great initiative if it does encourage young people to join.

“We might not get more than eight or ten people but that’s eight or ten more than we would have had.”

Those interested in getting involved are asked to contact Robert McLachlan on 07852 184477.