The Luke Littler effect has hit Bristol Uni as popularity of darts soars amongst students

The number of Darts Society members has grown nearly three fold since the World Darts Championships

Teenage darts sensation Luke Littler rocked the sporting world earlier this year when he incredibly reached the final of the PDC World Darts Championship. The 17-year-old’s monumental rise to the top, alongside his love of scranning kebabs and puffing on vapes, has seen the popularity of darts soar nationwide, with seemingly everybody now either owning a darts board or making frequent trips to their local boozer to have a go at the game.

If you had asked most people about darts this time last year, they would have had very little knowledge, if any, about the sport, how it works, or who the top players are, but now it seems that just about everyone knows every little detail about the sport. 

The Luke Littler effect has undoubtedly had a monumental impact at Bristol University this term, with the growing enthusiasm for darts no more apparent than through the remarkable increase in Bristol Darts Society membership and the “Ally Pally Student Darts” Night hosted at SWX last month. 

Dolled up in their favourite Amazon fancy dress costume, typically no more than £20 and disproportionately either a traffic cone, an Ali G imitation or a ‘Where’s Wally?’ outfit, students stumbled into SWX in February for a much anticipated night of student darts. The event had a relatively straightforward system, with two students, one from Bristol Uni and one from UWE, set to go face-to-face in the ultimate test of strength and endurance.

Upon arrival, each person was welcomed with their very own darts crowd placard, which were inevitably used as artillery to disrespect their rival Bristol uni. One sign being held proudly in the air by someone dressed as a monkey read: “UWE SUCKS… MY BANANA”; the heated rivalry that was to characterise the rest of the night was absolutely set.  

From the highs of incredible 180s to the lows of a notorious ‘double one’ play-off, the student darts night had it all. That’s not to mention that drinks, despite the outrageous prices, were constantly flowing, and every single pop-banger you can imagine was blasting out all night long to create a spectacular atmosphere.

Whilst the success of the night serves as tremendous evidence for the growing popularity of the English pub game at Bristol Uni, the clearest indication comes from rising membership of the UoB Darts Society.  The society congregates at their beloved All Stars Sports Bar every Thursday simply for a good sesh of throwing darts and drinking beer, while they also host frequent tournament events at Den & Terrace.

Image via @uob_darts

Speaking to members of the society, The Bristol Tab discovered that the number of members has not only risen this term but has grown nearly threefold. Before Luke Littler’s run at the recent World Championships, the society was often struggling to get even 10 members to come to All Stars each week, whereas following the event, Thursday turnouts have often amassed 30 people.

This is only set to grow with the upcoming Varsity match against Bath University on Friday 19th April, which follows the success of last year’s sold out match at the Student Union against Cardiff University.

Discussing the event, the captain of the Bristol team said: “Darts Varsity is the highlight of the social calendar. It promises high quality darts, a fierce atmosphere, and the perfect excuse to get a little silly. It is truly a night to remember!”

Tickets are selling quickly, so do not miss out on what could be one of the biggest and best nights out at Bristol Uni this year.

Cover image via @uob_darts

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