Proof, if further proof is needed, that darts is continuing to spread relentlessly across the planet is the news that a darts association has been launched in Nepal in Central Asia. This launch is a dream fulfilled for the Association’s founder and General Secretary, Dinesh Thapa, 33.
Dinesh told me, “While studying at college in Singapore between 2000 and 2004, I played darts for fun but since 2001 I have dreamed of setting up a proper darts association in Nepal.” That dream became a reality when on 26th December 2008 the National Sports Council of Nepal finally approved the registration of the Nepal Darts Association.
Darts in Nepal does not have a long history; the sport arriving in that country during the 1980’s when it became part of the bar culture. But, as Dinesh told us nowadays, “Many top businessmen in Nepal have been playing darts in their home and office as a leisure pursuit and people who go to bars for drink in the Thamel Area of Kathmandu play darts for fun.”
Darts entrepreneur Eddie Norman told me recently that he had visited Katmandu in the early 1990s to see if he could assist in setting up an association but negotiations eventually came to nothing. However, Dinesh now appears to have succeeded and another country is slowly becoming darts conscious.
Dinesh said, “I have carefully selected a team of thirteen people to help me run the NDA” and mentioned in particular, the NDA President Chandra Risal, who is a young politician, and Vice-President Umesh Thapa who is a young business man. “Besides the President and Vice- President, Dinesh said that all other executive committee members are young and energetic business people in varying different fields such as tourism, the hotel trade and education.
The NDA has drawn up a strategic plan for 2009 which includes affiliation with the World Darts Federation by 1st August and to hold its first National Corporate Darts Championship by the end of that month; that is not bad at all when you consider that Nepal does not have a single professional darts player on its books and has never held a major darts tournament. But, of course these are early days.
At the award ceremony of members on 26th December 2008, the Secretary of the National Sports Council of Nepal told the NDA’s executive committee, “Darts is a new game in Nepal but it has potentidly, economical and, most importantly, it is an individual game”. Dinesh told me, “What the Secretary of the NSC said is correct as Nepal is currently struggling to win group games such as football, volleyball and basketball. I believe that darts will be the game to watch in future and that Nepal will produce champions in years to come and they will make our country proud.”