Do you love playing darts? While there are plenty of sports to watch for you – and we are sure the FIFA World Cup features right at the top for you – darts has an appeal like a few others. Thankfully, you had that in plenty if you are living in New Plymouth.
Mark Cleaver of Taranaki has recently made quite a name for himself in the world of darts. He came into contact with some of the best players to have ever graced the game when he was playing in the Taranaki International Darts Open. Now, he wants to make sure that the sport manages to get the acceleration it needs in order to grow in this region.
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The event was held at New Plymouth's Devon Hotel between the dates, June 30th and July 2nd. 50-year-old Cleaver competed against almost a hundred other players trying to leave a mark in the tournament.
The Taranaki International Darts Open was preceded by an event organised to welcome players from different parts of the world. The tournament began with a friendly match between the New Zealand Māori and the Malaysian national team.
The President of the Taranaki Darts Association, Brent Holswich has high hopes that organising top-class events like these will lead to a rise in the number of people playing the game in the region.
The Malaysians had a momentum going initially, but it was Cleaver who had the last laugh. Partnered with Craig Caldwell, Darren Herewini, and Mark McGrath, he succeeded in winning the title during the team events.
Also known as "The Maestro", Cleaver became interested in darts because of his parents. His father, Neil, influenced him greatly, and that is not surprising because he himself was an excellent player.
Cleaver happened to visit a local club in Stratford when he found that they had their darts night on. He joined in because there were not enough players to play the game, and that was the start he needed. The rest is history, and he is now one of the best darts players to have ever played the game.
Cleaver has gone the extra mile to make himself as good a player he is. He has taken the help of motivational expert, Peter Mischefski in order to improve his game and unlock his true potential.
As a player, he has battled against some of the all-time greats of the game, but his hero is Phil "The Power" Taylor who has been crowned world champion 16 times. He wants to reach the top and does not hesitate to say it. He values experience and thinks that it will help achieve what he wants.
Cleaver hopes that televised events succeed in increasing the popularity of darts in New Zealand