Meet South Africa’s two top darts players, who are so good that they have been chosen to compete amongst the best in Europe.
The Cape Flats players have been selected to compete in Britain’s Qualifying Schools (or Q-Schools), making their dream of playing on the UK professional circuit just a dart’s throw away.
But like many excellent athletes on the Cape Flats, they lack the funds to get there.
Warrick Scheffer, 24, from Retreat, is currently the No.1-ranked professional dart player in South Africa, with Nolan Arendse, 47, from Lotus River, ranked a close second.
Warrick managed to get to Q -chools last year, but with only 40 pounds (R703) to his name, he didn’t get far.
“I had no food, and only enough money for transport. I bought five packets of chips and a chocolate which I had to live off for four days, this made it hard for me to concentrate on my game play,” he says.
Between the two of them, they hold various titles like the Cape Town Open, the Johannesburg Open and the Pro Darts World Singles Championships in 2015 and 2016.
They have also been doubles partners for the last six years, and are ranked the number one doubles team in SA.
The South African Professional Darts Organisation (SAPDO), recently selected them to represent SA at the Q Schools, giving them a shot at playing on the UK Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit .
The Q-Schools is a four-day competition taking place in the small town of Wigan in January 2017.
Six hundred of the world’s top dart players will compete for a spot in the top 30, guaranteeing them a two-year tour card in the UK circuit.
“Just like golf, if you want to play on the professional circuit, you need to play for a tour card first. This is exactly the same,” Nolan explains.
“Once you get a tour card, we don’t have to worry about funding, because you get funded by international sponsors and then we’ll be set.”
Averaging 103.45 and 104.69 per throw, both players have the talent to make it into the top 30.
But first, they need R80 000, for flights to the UK and the entry fees into Q-Schools.
“We are the two best darts plays in South Africa, the opportunity is there for us, we just need funding,” says Warrick.
Nolan adds: “If somebody can help us with funding, we can guarantee that we will make it to the professional circuit and make South Africa proud.”
To assist, contact Warrick on 073 749 7840 or via firstname.lastname@example.org