Lakeside target as York darts supremo Neil Hart joins BDO tour
Updated 11:48am Wednesday 9th July 2014 in Sport
NEIL Hart is dreaming of playing at the Lakeside World Championship after announcing his intention to join the BDO tour in October.
The 50-year-old taxi driver, who runs York Darts Promotions, is planning on rubbing shoulders with the likes of darts legends Martin "Wolfie" Adams, Tony "Silverback" O'Shea and Scotty "Too Hotty" Waites from this autumn.
Hart once reached the last 32 of the British Open before losing to eventual champion Waites and wants to prove he can be as successful on the oche, as he is organising big darts events in North Yorkshire.
A former Humberside county player, Hart once held a world record in the 1980s after throwing 48 180s during a 24-hour darts marathon and has seen improvements to his game following a recent decision to wear glasses while he is playing.
On his latest challenge, the ex-Clifton Hotel arrows ace said: "Going on the BDO tour is something I have wanted to do for years and years but never really had the opportunity to do so. But my children have grown up now and I am single, so I can make more of a commitment to it.
"I would like to get into the world's top 100 and hopefully higher. I personally think I am capable of doing that and a lot of my friends have told me I am.
"That would all depend on the number of events I can get to though and dedicating the necessary time and commitment to it, with sponsorship obviously helping in that respect. Playing in the World Championships and walking on to that Lakeside stage would obviously be a dream.
"I know I can throw the fast legs to do that and I just need to add consistency now."
England international and 2012 British Open winner Martin Atkins, who is based in West Yorkshire, has provided Hart with an extensive practice regime to follow and the pair are also planning on travelling to competitions together.
"That will keep the costs down," Hart admitted. "I will also be learning from Martin when we go to tournaments together on how to adapt to playing on the tour.
"But I still need about £8,000 a year to cover entry fees, travel and hotels."
York Print, SR Washers and Ashes Associates have already agreed to provide financial support but further sponsors are now being sought.
Interested businesses or individuals would receive exposure on the front and back of Hart's playing shirt, starting from a five-inch square advert at a cost of £250 per year.
Companies would also be featured on the YDP official website and Facebook page, which boasts more than a thousand friends.
There would be the chance too to be displayed, where possible, on advertising boards at the YDP's 40 annual events.
As well as local prominence, meanwhile, sponsors could receive worldwide recognition with the tour visiting more than 25 different countries, including the USA, Canada, Romania, Holland, Australia, Spain, Gibraltar, Latvia, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Iceland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Japan, Sweden, France, Turkey, Northern Ireland, Malta and the Czech Republic.
All sponsors would be invited to a corporate night as well, where there would be an opportunity to play BDO world number one James Wilson.
Hart is hoping, meanwhile, that his presence on the BDO circuit will have a positive impact on the sport in this region, adding: "I am looking to spread the word about YDP and attract more players to our events, as well as raising awareness about our youth academy, which will soon be officially launched."
Anybody interested in sponsorship opportunities, should email email@example.com or call 07921 128063.