Dale darts ace aims for the top
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A DALE darts star is targeting a place in the world championships after an encouraging first season on the ladies’ circuit.
Kirstie Hutchinson, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, is currently ranked 15 in the world by the British Darts Organisation (BDO).
If she makes it into the top 14 she automatically qualifies for the televised world championships in January, which this year will be held at the O2, in London.
The 28-year-old made her debut in front of the television cameras at the BDO World Trophy last month when she narrowly lost to the second seed Lorraine Winstanley 4-3 in the last 16. Kirstie said she only picked up the arrows for
the first time about ten years ago, playing at home before joining Middleton Club in the Barnard Castle and District Winter League which her dad Gary helps to run.
Showing promise, she joined Durham Youth Darts and competed in the County Durham Super League after which she was encouraged to join the BDO ladies tour, competing alongside household names such as Deta Hedman, Anastasia Dobromyslova and current world number one Lisa Ashton.
“I used to pick and choose tournaments around the country. When I felt I was good enough to play among the best in the world, I decided to join the tour,” said Kirstie.
The tour year runs from October to September, with ranking points counting towards qualification for the world championships in January.
With Kirstie just six points off an automatic spot at the O2, she is hoping to accumulate enough points at the final three events of the year – Selsey last weekend, Bridlington this weekend and then Bruges.
“I have played pretty much every weekend and been all over the country and round most of Europe,” she said.
“It has brought my game on a lot and I have made some good friends on tour. There is a good social side to being on tour, but it is very competitive on the board.
“It would be good to qualify for the world championships after my first season on tour.
“My ambition is to make the world championships and also win a major ranking tournament – one of the top three tournaments we play,” she added.
At the oche, Kirstie uses 22g Gray Anderson Dreamboy darts – but when not away competing, she works as a childcare practitioner at Green Lane Nursery, in Barnard Castle, where she helps to look after toddlers aged up to two years.
She has worked at the nursery for four years and said she was grateful for the support she receives which means she can compete on the darts circuit.
“They are really good and allow me to have the time off to be able to follow my dream.”