Nuriootpa’s Dave “Sledge” Hammerling is on target to clocking up 40 years with the Barossa and Light Darts Association this April.
Considering he’s the longest serving member still playing regularly, it’s a milestone worth celebrating.
“I’ve just kept going,” Dave said.
“People have said to me once I’m under the ground, I’ll still be throwing darts!”
For Dave, darts has been more than a sport, it’s been a social outlet since the age of sixteen.
“I hadn’t been able to play any outside sport because of the dislocated hip I’ve had since birth. I enjoyed playing darts and just kept going.”
Dave joined the Barossa and Light Darts Association in April, 1979.
“When I first started and got really into it, I was basically playing every night of the week and then going to tournaments all around South Australia.
“I was playing Gawler League on Monday nights, Northern Districts on Tuesdays, Barossa on Wednesdays; alternate Thursdays was mixed super league and men’s super league at Northern Districts and then social night Friday night.
“But I wasn’t married then!”
Dave won’t be packing up his darts anytime soon and encourages people to give it a go.
“The thing is, you can be competitive on the night, but the game always starts with a handshake and finishes with a handshake.”