BEAVER BANK: A young Beaver Bank girl returned home from the WINMAU world masters dart championships in England last month with lasting friendships with some of the world of darts top players.
Emily Alford also came home with a top 16 place finish, a pretty good accomplishment for someone from a small province like Nova Scotia. She lost in the third round of the one loss and your done elimination-type worlds.
That loss, while disappointing, turned into a blessing for Alford, who plays darts out of the Somme Legion locally. It allowed her a chance to be her and watch, while also getting to meet some of the women’s darts top rankled players. It was a kin to a young hockey player meeting Nate MacKinnon or Sidney Crosby.
“I would have loved to have made it on stage, but on the other hand I was happy because I had the chance to meet and get to know people and have that experience,” said Alford. “This trip exceeded my expectations a lot. The people I played against were at a level I’ve never seen before. It was great to play at that calibre.”
The 13-year-old enjoyed the experience.
“I loved every minute of it,” she said. “It was an amazing time. There was so much fun had.”
Alford, an alum of both Harold T Barrett Junior High and Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive school, found it hard to narrow it down to just three top memories.
“It’s so hard because there was so many that I made,” she said. “The three main ones would be the people I met from sitting in the pub hanging out with the ladies I’ve watched on TV, it was mind blowing. And seeing some youth that I’ve seen play; and the places are amazing.
“The architecture is so different, it’s all brick. The undergrounds are unbelievably cool over here.
She enjoyed spending time with her mom and dad during the trip to England. That made her list as a top three memory because of what they have done to ensure she got to England.
“It was so great to hang around with them and get to experience so many things with them,” said Alford. “I appreciate everything they did to get me here.
“It was a great chance to make memories as a family that we can take back to N.S. with us.”
The women players made the Lockview High Grade 9 student feel like she was one of them throughout the competition.
“I went from being a little girl looking up to these ladies I would watch on TV and always wanting to meet them in person to being one of them,” said Alford. “It was really cool as I got the opportunity to get to know them as people instead of as dart players.
“On the last day, a little girl came up and asked me for my autograph, which was pretty cool.”