Next weekend a huge darts event is going to be held in Maastricht. the 1st time such an event has taken place. This is testemant to the popularity of the sport here in Holland.
The World Darts Event will be hosted by the MECC (Maastricht Expo and Conf Centre) on a 20,000m² floor. As well as darts there will be plenty to see and do, and some major sponsors have enabled a huge prize fund of 46,000 Euros.
Merecedes-Benz neighbour 'MECC'
One of the sponsors, who include, Meerssen Photo Shop, Putters Undertakers, is Passie Magazine who by coincidence I supplied with 6,000 sets of darts flights for them and their sister publication Chick Magazine. (Don't open those links at work!)
Quote from Chick site: "Two girls loving one man or two men pleasing one single lady: It is always double the fun!" - A Quality Publication
The actual darts competiton is open to anyone and gives you the chance to play the likes of Ted 'the Count' Hankey, Gary Anderson, Tony 'the Viper' Eccles, Albertino Essers, Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hoogan, Mervyn 'the twat' King, Jelle Klaasen (Embassy Champion 2006) and many more.
Stockton born tony Eccles will be the man to beat from the UK on Sunday
One player who will be there is 17yr old Mike van der Gerwen, who today became the youngest ever winner of a major tournament, winning the World Masters. 'Mighty Mike' or the 'Flycatcher' as I prefer to call him is an extroidanery talent, who seems to show no fear playing live on television against the best darters in the world. So at the moment we have a Dutch world champion 21yr old Jelle Klaasen, and 17yr old Dutch Masters champion. Fellow 'Nederlander' Francis Hoenselaar also took the ladies title in Bridlington yesterday.
Michael Van Gerwen 'catching flies' again
While I was playing competition darts here I predicted that before 2010's decade starts the Dutch would be dominating darts. Ray Stubbs interviewed darting legend Bobby George after van Gerwen's win and asked why the Dutch are doing so well at darts. Bobby ever the intellectual he is, said it is because the Government funds kids to play darts in Holland and they practise it at school.
While this is the absolute truth. I would disagree with the asteemed Mr George and say that it is more to do with the fact that most employers here in Holland insist on at least 2 darting trophies to be listed on a CV before they will consider employing, and also that throughout history in Dutch conflicts the dart has been the weapon of choice.
Bobby George meets his arch enemy Bob the builder. Luvvly Chubbly.
The simple reason is Raymond van Barneveld inspired an entire country to step up to the 'Ochey' in 1998 when he was the first non-British darts player to win the Embassy Trophy.
So next weekend the general public get a chance to play some 'large' darts players. Among the hopefuls are two players who were my team mates in the 'Bensons 1' team I captained. Victor Dassen and Henk Mik. 10,000 Euros is up for grabs for the winner of the competition.
As an extra treat the event has an after-party where Rene Froger will be performing.
Rene Froger, The David Hasselhof of the lowlands