YOU often hear sportsmen say that they would like to “give something back to the sport” after their main careers are over, but in the case of one Plymouth darts player, he has gone above and beyond, despite major setbacks in his personal life.
Snowy Dyson was a member of the Devonshire and Dorset regiment when, following an horrendous accident, in which two people were killed, he was medically discharged from a career he loved dearly.
In October 2015, the 48-year-old had to have his left leg amputated due to progressive Type 2 Diabetes and he adapted well with the use of a prosthetic leg, to carry on playing the sport he so dearly loves.
But in 2016, just weeks before he was due to take his place in the Winmau World Masters, one of the game’s most prestigious tournaments, he received the devastating news that he had to have his remaining leg amputated.
That procedure was carried out at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on the morning of Monday, July 11.
Snowy is now the only bi-lateral, above the knee amputee, in the World Disability Darts Association (WDDA) and his progress has been remarkable due to the staff’s dedication at the Thornbury Centre at Derriford, enabling Dyson to still compete on the oche.
Now he has taken his love for the sport a step further and is to introduce for the first time in Plymouth, a darts league for disabled players.
The Plymouth Disabled Darts League will be a pioneering venture for anybody with a disability who not only wants to play darts but also socialise twice a month at three venues around the city.
These will be at the City Social Club, Tamar View and The Brookside and the league will be sponsored by Shaun Hobbs, licensee of the City Social. The league’s patron will be England darts captain and former BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell.
PUTTING SOMETHING BACK: Snowy Dyson, (first left) the only above the knee bi-lateral disabled darts player in the WDDA, is to begin a new Plymouth League for disabled darts players. Scott Mitchell (far right) has kindly accepted to be the league's patron which also has the backing of Trina Gulliver (second left) and Tracy Ann Fletcher from Prostate Cancer UK.
There will be two playing boards at each of the three venues on match nights. One will be set at a wheelchair height of 1m 37cms and then there will be a normal standing height board.
This will then enable a standing player to oppose a wheelchair marksman.
The league will be played under BDDA (British Disabled Darts Association) rules with no raised oches and all players must retrieve their own darts.
A registration meeting will be set up for Thursday, July 26 at a venue yet to be decided and the first matches will take place on Thursday, August 30.
The format will be two trebles, three doubles and six singles, the individual games to be played over the best of five legs of 501.