Dart player Emily Alford can now hone her skills during lunch breaks and after school at Harold T. Barrett Junior High in Beaver Bank. Ken Tucker, the school’s night custodian, brought in his old dart board for Alford and other studnets to use and give the fun sport a try. He hwas an avid dart player whose love had waned, but knowing Alford and other students wanted to try it his passion returned. (Healey photo)

BEAVER BANK: Thanks to the night custodian at Harold T. Barrett Junior High School in Beaver Bank, students can now try their hand at a seldom known sport—darts.

The school knew that Emily Alford would be coming to their school from Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive as she continues into Grade 7, so administration mentioned her playing darts and representing N.S. at nationals to Ken Tucker, the night custodian.

Tucker, who used to be an avid dart player himself, knew exactly what to do. He brought in his old dart board from home and some darts to the school, and administration put it up in what Emily dubbed “the dart room.”

“We’ve played darts at a couple of our staff parties, so the staff knew I was a dart player,” Tucker said on Dec. 2. “They told me we had a special dart player showing up here. I was quite excited at that prospect.

“I thought we would have to get a game going. When she showed up, they introduced me to her and I set up the dart board for her.”


Four sets of darts were sent in for the dart board from a gentleman in Elmsdale and PEI dart players sent over a little bag filled with darts and supplies for it as well to the school.

Alford finds it pretty cool that the school would setup the dart board for her and other students who may want to give it a try.

“It’s not just me trying to make it bigger, but I find the school is trying to help me along the way,” said the Beaver Bank girl. “We’re looking at starting a dart team kind of thing. I want to help other people to get better.

“I know when I started playing I wasn’t that good, but through a lot of practice I got better. I want to help other people do the same.”

She said playing games against Tucker has been beneficial.

“It’s been helping my game when we play one another,” said Alford.

Alford said her fellow schoolmates aren’t quite aware yet of the dart board in the school.

“I have brought a few people in to practice after school, and they said they would be interested in playing more,” she said. “I definitely would like to thank my school and Ken because if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been able to get the dart board in the school.”

It’s not just a dart board for Alford either, said Tucker.

“It’s for all the students ,” he said. “We want to get more people involved and to play. We’re going to be teaching people how to play and it’s educational because it can help the students with their math skills.”

He said the administration of the school—Principal Scott Hickman and Vice Principal Dean Lee—have been very receptive.

“They’ve all been very supportive,” he said.

Having the dart board at the school and Alford playing, has re-ignited the spark Tucker had before when he played.

“I hadn’t been playing much, but Emily has got me back into darts,” said Tucker.