Provincial darts champion, Carla Swanepoel, 15, from Strandfontein, won a gold medal in the girls’ pairs category at the national youth darts championships in Port Elizabeth, in June.
The promising Saints Darts Club member, and her provincial teammate, Stikland Darts Association’s Bronwyn Human, from Kraaifontein, were crowned the overall youth champions and the girls’ pairs winners following their 3-0 win against Mpumalanga in the final.
They were unbeaten throughout the round robin matches played against pairs from the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.
The Grade 9 Strandfontein High School pupil, says although it was not love at first sight, she fell in love with the sport last year when she started playing for Saints.
She attended a number of practice sessions and competitions to watch her father, Carl Swanepoel, play and was inspired at how passionate he and his teammates were in front of the bulls-eye.
She says this year has been a memorable one as she earned her provincial colours, followed by her first selection for nationals where she won her first gold medal for the province.
With her ambitions to travel around the city, SA and abroad, the youngster says she aims to get better by the day.
Despite finishing fourth individually, Carla says lifting the girls’ pairs trophy with her teammate, was an inspirational moment.
“My dad played for many years before he took a break away from darts. In 2017 he returned to the sport and joined Saints Darts Club. I watched him play at competitions and one day he asked if I would ever play darts. At that moment I said ‘no, this sport is not for me’.”
However, she changed her mind and it wasn’t long before she also joined the club. Carla says her father is her inspiration and she always tries to emulate his winning attitude.
“Considering this was only my first year at nationals, I think I have done really well. And, I’m really proud of myself, I brought home gold,” she says.
“Bronwyn and I were really nervous but we kept on motivating each other. We took it game by game and we stayed focused.”
Carla was also a part of the Mitchell’s Plain Recreational Association’s team that won the Cape Town District level knockout category last month in Bellville.
“If you really love doing something, you’ve got to take pride in it. There’s a time and place for everything,” she says.
“In the next five years I see myself traveling the world, making my SA colours and the World Cup team. And also helping other youth players on their darting career and giving them some advice on darts,” she says.
If you know of any sporty women we should feature in Southern Mail, contact 021 488 4620 or call 021 488 4622.