The Cloverdale Legion is set to welcome players from sea to sea to sea this weekend, when Branch 6 hosts the 2015 Dominion Darts Championships.
Dart players from across the nation – every province and territory, including Nunavut and NWT – are flying to B.C. for the May 1-4 event, where they’ll enjoy Cloverdale hospitality, comradeship and the spirit of friendly competition.
Some 58 players are taking competing in singles, doubles or mixed team dart events, says Scott MacMillan, tournament chair.
There’s a welcome reception Friday night (May 1) at the Legion. Volunteer drivers will be picking up tournament competitors from the airport, and chauffeuring them between their hotels and Branch 6.
First thing the next morning are the opening ceremonies at the Cloverdale Cenotaph, where representatives from Cloverdale Legion Branch 6 will be joined representatives of BC Yukon Command, Dominion Command and the local zone.
Don’t be surprised by the sound of bagpipes; the Surrey Firefighters Pipe and Drum Band is also taking part in the ceremony, which will feature a rendition of Last Post, two minutes of silence and the laying of wreaths. Mayors and other dignitaries have been invited to attend.
The darts doubles playdowns are Saturday morning (May 2), right after the opening ceremonies.
The singles competition will get underway on Saturday afternoon starting at 2 p.m., and the mixed team play is slated for 11:30 a.m. Sunday – following any singles games, if necessary.
The teams will battle it out for the chance to win one of three branch improvement grants.
The event closes with an awards banquet Sunday night and the visitors depart Monday.
Competitors will be staying at three local hotels – the Hampton Inn, Ramada Inn and the Holiday Inn and Suites in Cloverdale, right near the action.
“My drivers will be very busy that weekend,” notes MacMillan, who adds the host branch has also been able to line up the use of a 40-foot passenger bus from International Stage Lines – six hours for free.
Seven players are from B.C.: Bill Durant, Bob Cool, Rob Cool, Albert Davies, Victor Skinner, Jeffrey Johnson and Ed Butler Sr.
The Dominion Darts Championships were launched in 1975 and are open to eligible Legion members.
The local organizing committee has been busy, raising $4,828 last month at a silent auction at Rusty’s Pub in Cloverdale.
When not hosting national tournaments, the branch has 12 dart boards, making the venue a draw to non-Legion dart players.
Branch 6 hosts a popular in-house darts league every Tuesday and two weekends ago hosted 180 players taking part in the Western Fraser Valley League darts tournament.
“They love holding it there because the Cloverdale Legion’s got a lot of dart boards, and it’s a nice, relaxing place for them,” MacMillan said.
The public is invited to watch; it’s an open event. That makes it an ideal opportunity to showcase the RCL to the wider community and find out about memberships.
MacMillan points out that Legion memberships are no longer exclusively open to those with past military service.
The branch is hosting an house on June 20.