In honour of International Women's Day, we spoke with our female #TeamTarget pros. These inspirational ladies have individually achieved success, are in various stages of their darts career and have seen different changes in the sport. We spoke to them to hear their views on the development of females in darts in their respective countries and how they would like to influence change.
Mikuru Suzuki "When it comes to darts, Japan is traditionally a soft tip-based market, but I see more and more ladies taking up steel tip and actively trying to compete at an international level. It's good to see a shift in female players participating in European tournaments in comparison to previous years."
"Going forward, I would like to compete more abroad and play more steel tips tournaments. I want to be a positive example for the younger girls in Japan and Asia and encourage them to participate not only locally, but also against top players in the game of darts."
Cathy Leung "Since I started playing 8 years ago, the sport for females has developed slowly in Hong Kong. In my observations, developments have included an increase in the number of females joining the leagues and tournaments, and tournaments integrating change such as the Dartslive Hong Kong Tour which now has a female division."
"I would like to encourage more females to enter the sport of darts and inspire more leisure players to participate in a greater number of tournaments and leagues. As a female player, we can be just as good as the men."
Momo Zhou "In China, I can see more and more girls slowly joining the sport. I am confident that new players will be charmed and fall in love with darts."
"I would like to encourage women to play every game seriously, focus on doing what they love, strive to reach a wider stage and create more opportunities. I am looking to alter perception and show people that women can also do well in darts."
Lorraine Winstanley "The opportunities for female players here in the UK have been greatly widened in recent years with the numbers in the world championship increasing from 8 players to 24, more standalone ladies' tournaments and the introduction of the PDC women's series so the women's game really is on the up."
"Heading up the Elite 1 program is an amazing opportunity to hopefully make a difference to the future of our game. The young players are the future of the sport and helping them alongside Target is an absolute honour."
Here's a closer look at our amazing young female talent in our ELITE 1 team:
Katie Sheldon is our young lady from Ireland who has already been playing for a few years. She has shown her class by becoming a world master in 2019 and has represented her national team of Republic of Ireland not only in the BDO but for the JDC too. At just 18 years of age she really is a talent to watch out for. She has already made her mark playing the PDC ladies' series and is so passionate towards the game.
Hayley Crowley is our Canadian Elite 1 team member, at just 20 years of age she is an America's Cup youth girls singles champion and has 5 youth and 2 senior titles. Hayley is most definitely a force to be reckoned with and now the covid restrictions are being lifted, she will back out looking for more titles to add to her name.
Ksenia Klochek is our young talent from Russia, who at just 15 years of age is the WDF youth girl's world number 1 and has 19 youth and 3 senior titles under her belt. Ksenia narrowly missed out on qualifying for the WDF world championships this year on the North European ranking table and was runner up to Fallon Sherrock in WDF virtual cup which was played online last year. She has achieved so much in the years she has been playing and it's going to be very exciting to see how she continues to dominate at youth level.
Eleanor Cairns is our newest girl to join Elite 1. Eleanor burst into the scene last year winning 2 WDF youth tournaments and qualifying for the very first WDF world championship youth final which will be held at the Lakeside in April 2022. Eleanor also made the final of the JDC super 16 where she played on the big stage at Milton Keynes. She plays her county darts for Lancashire and is a solid member of the Ladies A team. Eleanor's strength of character is so strong, she has such drive and determination towards her game, her future is very bright.