Tuesday August 21, 2012
Renewed interest in darts prompts MDA to organise championship
By YIP YOKE TENG
Photo by NORAFIFI EHSAN
THE Malaysian Open Darts Championships will be back after a three year hiatus. It will be held from Aug 31 to Sept 2 at the Amansara Residence Resort in Johor.
It is said to be the only internationally-sanctioned tournament in Malaysia offering World Darts Federation world ranking points.
The event rides on a renewed interest in darts in Malaysia, believed to be due to increased broadcast media coverage of the sport on the local TV as well as the organiser, Malaysia Darts Association’s (MDA) various promotional efforts.
MDA announced its platinum sponsors Gallagher Group Malaysia and Bio Pharmaceutical Malaysia in a press conference officiated by Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz recently in Petaling Jaya.
Puma Darts is the official dartboard sponsor while Carlsberg Malaysia is the official beer.
“Darts have been around for a long time in Malaysia.
“However, it is often associated with the social scene, giving it a negative perception.
“But in reality, it is a much followed international sport, with championships held yearly and huge cash rewards given out,” he said.
He commended the organiser on the event as well as its efforts to make darts popular again.
“I strongly believe that Malaysians can excel in darts in the same spirit of badminton and squash,” he said, adding that he would channel an allocation of RM10,000 from the ministry to MDA.
MDA president Nancy Ambrose said the positive support from sponsors as well as more than RM32,000 in prize money had allowed the association to assemble a high quality field of teams that promised Malaysian darts fans a thrilling weekend.
She said the short term objective of MDA was to identify, train and send a Malaysian team to the World Cup of Darts taking place in Newfoundland, Canada, next year.
“Malaysia used to do well in this world tourney up until the 1990s when there were several world-ranked players in our midst.
“MDA feels it is imperative for the development of the sport in Malaysia,” she said.
In the long term, MDA aims to develop the game at the grassroots level so that they can identify and groom potential world beaters.