Ahead of the upcoming Allstars of Andover darts event, we caught up with local hero Arron Monk.
Find out what happened when we picked his brains on sport in Andover, and the physique of the professional darts player:
You have a huge following locally – do competitions feel different on home turf?
I feel more pressure to perform at local events. As a professional, I am usually the best player in a tournament.
This event is a little bit different, however, as the likes of Michael van Gerwen and James Wade – who are the best in the world – are involved. So the expectations won’t be as high, but I still want to show the home crowd what I can do.
And have you got many friends and family coming to support you?
Yes, there are a lot of my mates and family coming down, especially as my Dad is in the event too.
There will be some banter, but they will be cheering on the Monks! And it is a great opportunity for everyone to see top professional players live, which is a chance you don’t often get on your doorstep.
Andover is starting to see a lot more sport performed on a national and international level. As someone involved in other sports in the town*, what do you think of all the opportunities here?
Andover is a great place for sport, with some good facilities, and it’s nice to be a part of that.
I like to keep fit, and I and love my sports, so I am pleased with all the opportunities to participate in the area. I think it is very important.
How did you get into darts, and how can other people in Andover get involved?
My dad was a professional player when I was growing up, so I got into it through him.
I was winning competitions when I was a kid, but the usual route is to enter the local leagues by playing for the pub teams.
That’s where most players start, then if they are good enough they progress to super league, and county. The best of those may have some decisions to make about entering professional tournaments!
We’re all really looking forward to this event – how competitive do you think it will get?
Very. It’s an important time in the professional darts calendar, with many major tournaments going on in the build-up to the World Championships at Christmas.
This is when players want to peak, and the last thing they want to do is let potential opponents get one over on them.
We all know the stereotypes of darts players, but what level of fitness do you believe professionals need to be at?
Personally, I try to keep fit and go to the gym as often as possible, because the lifestyle of touring and being on the road can make it very easy to let the fitness levels drop.
I think it’s important not to let that happen, especially while I am still young.
The demands on players are getting greater as the popularity is higher than ever, so I think fitness will soon start to play a big part.
Don’t miss out on tickets for the Allstars of Andover event – there are very limited numbers left! Click here for more details.