The White Swan

Luke Littler`s tutor sets up darts academy for young people at Swinton pub

A darts expert who tutored a young Luke Littler has joined forces with a Manchester pub to launch an academy aimed at encouraging youngsters to take up the sport.

Arran Mattinson was manager of the Lancashire Youth Darts team when Littler, now 17 and currently topping the darts premier league, played for the team. Now Arran has set up a club for 8 – 16 year olds at Joseph Holt pub the White Swan in Swinton after approaching landlady Lindsey Smethills about running a weekly group which tapped into the current darts craze.

Said Lindsey: “When Arran spoke to me about his idea, I thought it made perfect sense. Luke Littler has created so much interest in darts through his amazing success. And as a pub we are always looking for ways to do things for the community. So, it seemed like the perfect time to do something like this – not least because there aren`t many opportunities around here for children so young to learn how to play. And from such an expert!”

The White Swan belongs to Manchester-based Joseph Holt which runs 127 pubs across the North West. The brewery already has a connection with Warrington darts sensation Luke Littler since his brother, Leon, is a bar tender at Joseph Holt pub The Millhouse. Neighbours and friends gathered at the Warrington pub to support the teenager as he competed with Luke Humphries in the World Championship final  back in January.

Already the new club – known as the White Swan Darts Academy  – is proving to be a huge success, although of the children who attend, only one is a girl. Something Arran hopes will change, not least since another of his former charges,  Eleanor Cairns, winner of the WDF World Champion recently called into the White Swan club. Four time Ladies BDO World Champion Lisa Ashton has also promised to visit,

Said Arran: “Darts is a fantastic game for young people. It requires concentration, and develops maths and social skills – and of course is a constructive way  for youngster to spend their free time.”

Joseph Holt pubs director, Mark Norbury, added: “As a brewery, we were so proud to support Luke Littler on his journey to the world championships and so it`s wonderful for Lindsey and the White Swan to play its part in encouraging more youngsters to play.

“Our pubs are so much more than places to eat or enjoy our award-winning ales. They are at the heart of the community and we look forward to this new group going from strength to strength.”

For more details of the academy please contact The White Swan via their Facebook page.

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