Children enjoy games as they learn more about maths through darts

There was fun and games and a chance to learn at an event designed to bring darts and maths together.

Students from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Academy pose with Wolfie and Alan Soutar at the Grand Slam of Darts arena in Aldersley Leisure Village
Students from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Academy pose with Wolfie and Alan Soutar at the Grand Slam of Darts arena in Aldersley Leisure Village

Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton was the setting for the latest part of an initiative by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) to help raise the profile of maths with students across the country through playing darts.

The event on Wednesday saw around 30 students from SS Peter & Paul Catholic Primary Academy play darts and take part in games organised by Room 180 academy, supported by the PDC and the Wolves Foundation and taking place inside the Grand Slam of Darts arena.

The students were also tested on their maths knowledge and given a tour of the arena, as well as getting the chance to meet Wolves mascot Wolfie and professional player Alan Soutar and also pose on the stage with the World Championship trophy.

The event is part of the PDC's Bullseye Maths initiative, which forms part of the 2022 Maths Week England scheme from November 14 to 18 and also sees the PDC take the initiative to cities across the country hosting PDC events.

The participants from the event get the chance to pose with the World Championship trophy on the stage at Aldersley Leisure Village

PDC head of media Dave Allen said the initiative was a great way of bring darts into schools and get children interested in the sport and spoke about the community aspect of it.

He said: "Having the support of the Wolves Foundation has been brilliant for us as they do lots of great work in the community here in Wolverhampton.

"This is a scheme we've been rolling out this year, mainly around our major darts tournaments, and we've been able to take players to schools or welcome students down to events to do the learning, as well as introduce our online hub.

"To be able to do this in the venue is fantastic and also have the support of the Wolves Foundation, have Wolfie come down and also have Alan Soutar give up his day to come down is brilliant."

The link between maths and darts has been seen as an essential one, with player at the top of the game able to work out where to throw and what combinations are needed to finish a leg instantly.

Alan Soutar, who had been competing in the Grand Slam event, said he was an advocate of maths and darts together through his darts academy in Scotland and said he hoped the students would take a lot away from the day.

He said: "I've been running my academy for around 10 years and parents of the kids who come to it tell me they've got the best mental arithmetic in their classes and to learn what a treble number is and a double number is great for them.

"I'll be honest, my maths at school wasn't the greatest by a long stretch, but you learn the numbers and the routines and through repetition, you don't need to count anymore as you'll know what a combination is through quick mental maths.

"I've love it if even just one kid went away and asked their parents if they could watch the darts tonight, that would be great and if they take it up and get interested in playing it, that would be great."

The students give Alan Soutar a big welcome as he does his walk on

Gary Horsley from Room 180 Academy was the person running the event, testing the students on their multiple tables, showing them how to throw a dart and what the different bits were, ably assisted by members of the Wolves Foundation.

He said the idea was to present maths in a fun way and encourage the students to learn through playing darts.

He said: "It's all about adding up, taking away, subtractions and divisions, so we do a lot of themes and the children will play a lot of games around darts.

"Traditionally, darts is 501 and down, but we won't play that and, instead, we'll do other games which develop basic arithmetic skills such as colours and odds and evens and lots of maths challenges that the children can all do.

"They will all work together and it's about mental maths and developing fluency and the response has been fantastic, so to have the PDC involved is a game changer and it's fantastic to be able to do it in the arena."

For Jonathan Warburton, Wolves Foundation education skills manager, the event was a great opportunity to give children the chance to experience something they wouldn't get to do at school.

He said: "I think the children are really going to get involved with darts from this and it's an active session for everyone involved.

"It's great to be here representing the club and to actually work with the PDC is fantastic and really brings maths to life."

For more information about Bullseye Maths, go to pdc.tv/maths.

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