The Professional Darts Corporation has been shortlisted as a finalist in three categories at the 2023 Sports Business Awards. The World Darts Championship is in contention for the Best Sports Event of the Year category for a second time.
Sell-out crowds at the World Championship venue, the Alexandra Palace, were accompanied by record-breaking TV audiences in Germany during a thrilling event culminating in a historic final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen.
Smith’s triumph in the game, which featured ‘the greatest leg’ – as he hit a nine-dart finish after Van Gerwen missed double 12 for a perfect leg – created global headlines for the sport with a hugely memorable moment.
A Double for Women’s Growth
Alongside the ‘Best Event’ nomination, the PDC is also shortlisted in two new categories: the ‘Women Sports Business Award’ – created to recognize all the organizations that are making an impact on the growth of Women’s sports – and the ‘Best Sports Community or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Scheme’.
The PDC’s commitment to women’s darts has continued unabated. The Women’s World Matchplay was introduced in 2022, and prize money for the PDC Women’s Series doubled in 2023. The tour also expanded to 24 tournaments.
£265,000 in prize money is on offer for women players in 2023. There is the additional prize of places in the World Darts Championship, Grand Slam of Darts, World Youth Championship, and Qualifying School.
Maths That Hits the Bullseye
It is the PDC’s Bullseye Maths scheme that a shortlisting in the Best Sports Community or CSR Scheme category has recognized. Bullseye Maths was launched in February 2022 by the PDC in conjunction with Soapbox PR, Nottingham College’s Room 180 Academy, and GoDartsPro.
As part of the initiative, the PDC has since visited primary schools across the UK. The program involves darts-based maths classes featuring a mixture of worksheets that encourage problem-solving by using practical activities at the dartboard.
Feedback from pupils who participated in Bullseye Maths has been overwhelmingly positive. Eighty-one percent of participants stated that, following the Bullseye Maths class, learning maths would be more accessible when taught as part of a game.
Demonstrating sessions’ positive impact on pupils, the figure was an eight percent increase on the responses supplied before sessions began. Similarly, 92 percent of pupils said they enjoyed the Bullseye Maths class, and 90 percent said they would like to do it again as part of a maths class.
Porter Pleased for PDC Recognition
Reflecting on all three nominations – that could become awards at the Sports Business Awards ceremony in London on November 10 – PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter said: “It is great recognition for the PDC to be shortlisted in three categories at this year’s Sports Business Awards.”
“For the World Darts Championship to again receive a nomination reinforces the stature which the tournament now holds in the sporting calendar as a highlight of the year for so many.”
“It is pleasing that our commitment to inclusivity in sport has been recognized through our continued investment in providing more opportunities to female players. We are also delighted that our work in schools through Bullseye Maths scheme has been acknowledged as we continue to develop this exciting concept.”
Butlin’s and PDC Sign For More
Porter has also confirmed the PDC has signed a three-year extension with Butlin’s, which will see the UK Open and Players Championship Finals remain at the company’s historic Minehead Resort until at least the end of 2026.
The partnership extension means the Somerset venue will complete 13 years as a home to PDC events. It first hosted the Players Championship Finals in 2013. The UK Open followed suit in 2014.
Minehead Resort has proved hugely popular among fans, with weekend break packages providing accommodation and access to six sessions of top-class darts action. A sell-out 2023 Cazoo Players Championship Finals will mark the PDC’s return to Butlin’s.
Sixty-four of the world’s top stars will be in action for the November 24-26 tournament when Michael van Gerwen will attempt to take the title for an eighth time. The 2024 Cazoo UK Open (February 29 to March 3) is also sold out. Andrew Gliding won the 2023 event, defying his 200/1 odds offered by the best darts betting sites.
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