2018 Youth Nationals report

Youth Nationals were held in May. Here’s Youth Director Shauna Grassing with her report from Drummondville:

The 2018 Youth National Darts Championship held in Drummondville, Quebec is all wrapped up.  Team Saskatchewan finished in eighth place overall. We sent a full team of four boys and four girls, as well as four adult chaperones. Some parents also joined us in Drummondville.

The entire team played in the Bursary Shoot on Thursday evening as a warm up to the national events. The provincial directors voted that evening to approve a new bursary. National Finance Director Don Crookshanks proposed a bursary being paid out from Swiftflyte sponsorship. This will mean a significant increase in the bursary being awarded doubling the top prizes to $1000. It is Don’s hope this will attract more youth to play in the event which is open to all NDFC youth members.

Savanah Solomon, our lone graduating player, carried the Saskatchewan flag for opening ceremonies Friday morning.  The singles events were played following team pictures. 

Three of the girls advanced from their sections in the singles events; Rianna December, Taryn Kristjansson and Savanah Solomon. Junior Girl Rianna December had the best showing, finishing with a bronze medal (joint third). Unbeknownst to the youth, the directors also voted to pay the youth cash prizes in the singles events.

Unfortunately, Rianna met teammate Taryn three times in the knock out rounds over the weekend, in the singles event, Americas Cup Qualifier and the World Masters Qualifier, limiting our chances for more points.

One highlight of the weekend was junior boy Joshua Adrian shooting a 180 during a playoff game for fourth position and winning the game to advance in the Americas Cup Qualifier. Rianna December also shot a 180 and a 171 in competition.  Both players were recognized with a national pin at the awards presentations.

For senior player, Savanah Solomon, this was her last opportunity to compete as a youth player and she will be missed by all. Her friendly smile and gentle nature makes her a favorite with everyone. The team presented her with gifts of appreciation at the banquet. We hope to see her continue to play as an adult.

On a sad note, this was National Youth Director Carol Collett’s final year.  After running the youth nationals for thirty years she is stepping down. She will be truly missed by everyone. Her commitment to the youth program has be unmatched.

I also have enjoyed many years on the SDA executive and my two years as youth director.  I am pleased to say the youth will be in good hands with Mel December. Mel was able to attend the youth directors meeting with me and I think that alone will make for a smooth transition.  I would like to thank this year’s chaperones: Brad December, Jack Grassing, and Becky Arndt and the parents for being supportive of our players.  Good luck to everyone involved in hosting nationals next year.

Thanks Shauna! Congratulations to all our youth players. Here’s the official NDFC photo of Team Saskatchewan:

Back row, L-R: Jack Grassing (chaperone) Dillon Dumont, Joshua Adrian, Saul Arndt, Jaymes Swenson, Brad December (chaperone). Front row, L-R: Shauna Grassing (Youth Director), Taryn Kristjansson, Shaukeena McKay, Carol Collett (National Youth Director), Savanah Solomon, Rianna December, Becky Arndt (chaperone).