IT’S GAME ON FOR KILWINNING’S DARTS PRODIGY
Last year, 12-year-old Kyle Davidson travelled to Skegness, Austria, Denmark and Gibraltar, all in the name of darts.
“Kyle threw his first dart when he was two years old,” his mum, Claire Stewart, tells me. “He started playing when he was about five, and it just took off from there.”
At the time of our conversation, the Kilwinning Academy student has just returned from Gibraltar where his team won the Junior Darts Corporation (JDC) World Cup. The team was captained by Logan Gilmour (13) and also included Sophie McKinlay (17) and Mitchell Lawrie (13). Not only were they the first Scottish team to ever win the title, they were also the youngest.
“It felt amazing,” says Kyle, who took up the sport after watching it on TV.
“He’s sponsored by Mission Darts,” Claire confirms when I ask about funding. “We’re really friendly with a man called Wullie Burns and he put Kyle’s name forward to Mission Darts… so he gets boards, darts and accessories from them. Darryl Fitton is a professional darts player and he’s in charge of all the sponsored kids at Mission. Plus, Kyle has many other sponsors so he was able to get funding for Gibraltar.”
Securing that sponsorship with Mission was a major step in Kyle’s sporting career. Not only does it raise his profile but it can only improve his chances of further success.
Domestically, Kyle plays for North Ayrshire Darts Academy (NADA). He also plays in the Cunninghame District Darts League, although, he has to miss out on some matches, as Claire explains: “Some of the pubs in the league, kids aren’t allowed in… but he gets to play most of the time.”
Kyle practices for around two hours every day. In fact, he’s practicing as we speak! And no wonder, because he has an important match coming up at the Scottish Darts Association Youth Invitational Matchplay event in Falkirk.
“That’s finals day,” Claire informs me. “That wraps up the year for the SDA and then he’ll find out if he’s getting picked for the Scotland team next year.”
No pressure then! I ask where he finds the confidence to compete at such a high level.
“Kyle’s a very quiet, shy boy and he takes quite a lot of things in his stride. But he’s not really that confident so he goes to Kev Brown… he does Mind Masters coaching. He’s been going to see him to build on his confidence and his self-belief.”
With that coaching and his own increasing number of success stories, I’m sure he’ll soon hit the bullseye when it comes to his self-belief. In the meantime, he has more competitions to aim for.
“He plays in the SDA and the JDC. There are competitions that are held all over Scotland and this gets them their places for the Scotland team.”
Having recently won in Gibraltar as well as competing in the British Internationals at Skegness, the Europe Cup in Austria and the World Darts Federation’s World Cup in Denmark, Kyle’s certainly not lacking experience.
“We’re hoping that he will be picked,” says Claire, “because he did finish first in Scotland and he also finished first place in the JDC as well.”
Well, they don’t call him Kyle “the destroyer” Davidson for nothing!
For Kyle, darts is his passion and he’s made a lot of new friends through playing the sport.
And from his mum’s point of view?
“I’m so proud. I can’t even explain how proud I am.”
The team at Ayrshire Magazine wishes Kyle every success in what promises to be a long and rewarding darts career.