Has the 2024 World Championship affected local darts?

The stage at the World Darts Championship.

IT’S undeniable that darts has massively increased in popularity over the last few months, you now see all mainstream media outlets reporting on the teenage sensation Luke Littler.

The final between Luke Humphries and Littler was the most viewed darts programme on Sky Sports at 4.8million viewers.

But has this surge of following in the sport trickled down to a more local level?

Bittern Park Social Club is where the Southampton Darts series takes place every Monday, and where the Junior Darts academy is hosted every weekend.

The Southampton JDA director Laurence Dowding believes the new found hype is all down to the 2024 runner-up, Luke Littler.

Dowding said: “Straight after Christmas my phone went into meltdown, from parents emailing and messaging me about their children.”

“We call it the Luke Littler effect which is obvious”

Blake Walker is a member of the local academy, and a good friend of the now 17-year-old showstopper, playing with him from a young age.

The South-Coast youngster is incredibly impressed with the impact he’s had on darts, nationally and within the community.

He said: “Littler gets so many more people playing darts, it was his first worlds and he got to the final, that’s mental”

“Before Christmas, down here at the Junior Darts Academy we had maybe around 10 people, but now it’s at least 30/40 every week”

“I definitely prefer it being busier like this, the standard now seems so much better and I prefer more competition”

In my opinion it’s clear to see that Littler’s popularity has had an undeniably positive effect on all levels of darts across the UK.

The amount of participants down at this south-coast social club, has really shown this surge.