Meet the man with the most accurate hand-eye coordination in South Africa.
Cape Flats contractor Charles Losper hits the bulls-eye nearly every time he throws a dart, so it’s no wonder he’s just been crowned South Africa’s dart champion.
The Eerste River dad, 47, is used to grafting outside in his hard hat and work boots, but when it comes to darts, he has that delicate touch.
And he was good enough to win the South African Professional Darts Organisation (SAPDO) Masters at Groote Schuur Sport hall last month.
Charles was also a kwaai pool player in his youth, but it was darts that stole his heart.
He grew up in Hanover park, and played for the Hanover Park Pool club, before he was introduced to the game of darts 25 years ago after seeing a tournament.
“I saw these guys playing darts in the bar and it looked interesting,” Charles explains.
After some lessons from a friend, he left the pool club and joined the Hanover Park Darts club.
“It all began that evening and I started playing darts the very next day,” he says.
Charles says the most important elements of the sport is pitch and stance — you have to stand a certain way and throw the dart with just enough vooma to hit that bulls-eye.
Honing his skills most days of the week, he participated in dart tournaments on the weekends.
Last month, on September 24, the veteran darts player, ranked 7th, won the SAPDO Masters, beating the number one, a 24-year old player named Warrick Scheffer from Retreat.
The tournament saw the top 32 players from Cape Town and the Northern Cape compete for the National Championship.
Charles says: “I was ecstatic, because I’ve been trying to beat Warrick for months and finally I beat him in the championships.”
Charles earned his national colours in 2003, representing South Africa in France at the Amateur Darts World Cup.
He was also national champ in 2008 and 2009.
He says Darts South Africa, the national sporting body, only has an amateur league.
To go pro, players have to compete overseas.
According to Charles, SAPDO is affiliated to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) in the United Kingdom, allowing local players to compete on professional circuits there, but most players can’t afford to.