Darts bring deaf players together
Canadian Deaf Darts Championship offers deaf people chance to connect
November 14, 2016, 3:13 pm ASTLast Updated: November 16, 2016, 12:51 pm
For James Thomson, the Canadian Deaf Darts Championship (CDDC) is not just about competition; it’s also about community.
Thomson, from P.E.I., was one of 118 players from around the country to take part in the event at the Ramada Plaza in Dartmouth last week. Although most of the players didn’t know each other before the competition, they quickly became friends because of their common interest.
“The championship is a great way for deaf people to get together to find new friends,” said Thomson.
All players and volunteers are deaf or hard of hearing. They use sign language to communicate with each other.
Kathern Geldart, 69, doesn’t play darts, but wanted to participate so she volunteered.
“This is a place for the whole deaf community,” said Geldart, one of 14 volunteers, talking in sign language. “We can socialize here.”
The championship is held in a different province every two years and this is second time it’s been in Nova Scotia. This year there were 30 Nova Scotian players — a quarter of the total number.
Players competed in five categories. Thomson won third place in the men’s pairs event. This was his first time at the national championship, even though he’s been playing for 15 years.
“I am a psychiatric attendant,” he said. “After my work time, I spend two to three hours on darts every day.”
Bill Hatter, president of the National Dart Federation of Canada (NDFC), was invited to the championship as an adviser. He is trying to make CDDC a member of NDFC.
“For deaf dart players, this championship is the flagship event,” Hatter said. “We would like to help some talented deaf dart players join the national championships in the future.”