Devon Petersen is one of darts’ leading trailblazers. The South African has played an instrumental role in the sport’s growth in his home nation, but it is a responsibility that he relishes. ‘The African Warrior’ is aptly named. He has spearheaded the growth of African darts since making his PDC World Championship debut a decade ago, although it’s been the last 18 months where he’s enjoyed his major breakthrough.
“I think it’s [darts] still in its infancy with the growth and setting up proper structures that we can actually forge forward and be an impact on the professional tour,” Petersen said. “There are loads of African players that I know of, it’s just having that opportunity. Now with me achieving some small success and having the notability and profile in South Africa, it helps a bit and I think that in 2021 and the future, we will see a lot more [players].”
“I am starting the Devon Petersen Academy in South Africa and hopefully we can branch out to Africa and also then opening up avenues where we can have more African players coming through,” he added. “Everything is planning and just pushing forward. It’s hard if you don’t have sponsorship because it becomes then where everybody has to chip in, and it’s more like a cultural thing.”
“A lot of the support comes from the local leagues, which is fantastic, but they cannot support all the time. It is a last-ditch effort. We don’t want that.” Peterson continued. “We need to have a structure where we can send players over with peace of mind so they can perform, without having the stresses that we had before.”