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Darts was one of the biggest sports in Southland in 1980 and it held its Jubilee that year and it was thanks for the tireless work of the administrators that the sport has prospered.
It was interesting to read that the game started at a darts stall at a carnival in Clifton. Games were played mainly in garages, workshops and porches and in the winter the players had to contend with the cold which is amazing that it has carried the distant and is so popular today. Of course it is a different story today with most pubs having a dart board, and dart halls. The sport grew so big that the Southland Darts Association built their own hall in 1965 on the banks of the Otepuni Stream, adjacent to Turnbull Thomson Park. They opened the hall with 20 boards. Graham Peattie was the first men's champion and Mrs R. A.
Frampton the first women's champion.
Jim Bragg of Bluff was the first Southlander to win a South Island title. Hec Leckie is another big name in the game along with his pairs partner K. McColl. They won the national pairs in 1962.
The Scott Cup was won by probably one of the best teams to come out of Southland and that was A. Thomsen, G. Peattie, P. Cumming, E. Murdoch, M. Goble, D. Tomlins, H. Leckie (captain) and J. Smithurst.
In 1973 Dale Frampton travelled to Perth to compete in the Australisian comp which he won. He teamed with John Wilkie at the same tournament to win the pairs. Also representing Southland at the same event were; Waka Moses, Graham DeGarnham, and Elsa Smyth.
Reference: The Southland Times July 1980
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