For years debate has raged over whether darts is really a sport. But there is no doubt in the Government’s mind that it is, at least, a branch of applied mathematics.
As one of the sport’s two world championships comes to an end at Alexandra Palace, North London, and another is being contested at Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey, this week, ministers are taking the opportunity to urge Britons to step up to the oche to help them to brush up on their arithmetic.
Darts players may be better known for their waistlines and drinking habits than their maths skills. No one, however, can reach the top echelons of the game without being able to work out — as they prepare to throw — that with 73 points on the chalkboard a treble 19 and a double eight will see them home.
“You can’t play darts without maths,” Sion Simon, the Minister for Further Education, told The Times. “We’re using the example of darts where mathematical competence is really important to success and hopefully inspire adults who don’t have the maths skills.”