herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Robyn (17) is Ireland's first ever darts Master

Robyn Byrne pictured in her home darts room. Mulhuddart, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Robyn Byrne pictured in her home darts room. Mulhuddart, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

meet Ireland's first ever European Champion and World Masters darts player - Dublin teenager, Robyn Byrne.

As she sits her Leaving Certificate exams next summer the Mulhuddart teenager will be gearing up to go professional with her sport.

"I'm the first ever Irish person to get a gold medal in the European Championships and the first ever Irish person to win the Masters, at any level," Robyn (17) told the Herald.

competing

"I started competing when I was six but I can't even remember when I picked up my first dart, maybe when I was two or three years old."

In July she took gold at the European Championships in Austria, and earlier this month she did the same in England when she won the World Masters in the under 18s category.

Despite her achieving what no other Irish man or woman has done before, the story has not made headlines.

"I don't know why it hasn't got much publicity. Maybe it's because darts is associated with men and because of the drinking. It's not seen as a major sport," said Robyn.

Neither of her two sisters or brother play competitively, but last year a special room was built in her house just for her.

"We got an extension last year and all that's in it is a darts board," explained the teenager.

She said that skills needed for the sport include concentration, aim, counting and the "right attitude".

"Concentration is a big thing and you can't get nervous," Robyn said.

"Hand-eye coordination is important and so is the right attitude - as you're going into each game you have to believe you're going to win."

All of these skills she uses in her day-to-day life now and the teenager says her best subject in school is art,, but that she "wouldn't be bad at maths" either.

Robyn is now playing darts at senior level and is the number one female in Ireland, so she has already qualified for the Six Nations, World Cup, World Masters and European Championships for next year - all at senior level.

Will she take home gold then too?

"I'd be up there - I'm in with a good chance," said Robyn.

jfegan@herald.ie

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