If you find yourself at the Revelstoke Legion, keep an eye out for some the most accomplished senior dart players in Canada.
Carol Christiansen, Linda Bruder, Ruth Boettger, and Cindy Ratcliffe are three close friends who love to play darts. They play at the Legion regularly and have all accumulated several medals over the years in various competitions, including the Senior Canada Games and the BC Games.
The ladies had an impressive showing at this year’s Senior Canada Games in Kamloops. Despite it being her first Canada Games, Christiansen took home three medals, including two gold and one bronze.
Christiansen said she found the competition “challenging,” but she was still able to come through successfully. Competing in the 77+ age group, she won gold in the women’s and mixed singles, and came third in doubles. Christiansen’s competitive spirit is part of what’s made her such a good dart player in the four short years she’s been playing.
“I have good sportsmanship—I don’t get mad or anything. But if someone’s doing good, I just gotta do that little notch,” said Christiansen gesturing a level above with her hand as she spoke.
Bruder also medaled in Kamloops at the Canada Games, with a bronze medal in ladies singles for the 65–74 age bracket.
Bruder and Boettger have been playing darts together since the 80s. Bruder took a brief hiatus from the board for several years, but found her way back over time.
“Ruth got me going with the seniors,” said Bruder.
On her first outing at the 2005 BC Games, she and Boettger got a silver medal in doubles.
Recently, the ladies returned from a hectic tournament for this year’s BC Games, which were held in Victoria. While darts mightn’t be inherently physically demanding, the schedule that the group had to keep during the tournament was testing.
The darts events start at 9:00 a.m., with a bar opening on site at the same time. The games go on until 4:00 p.m., all the while competitors stand on concrete making the whole tournament even harder on the body as they played several days in a row.
In fine fashion, and with a drink in hand, the ladies bagged several more medals to add to their growing collection.
Bruder and Boettger brought home the gold in doubles. On her own, Boettger got bronze in singles.
After multiple long and challenging days, the ladies had a choice of how they could celebrate. Being a provincial tournament, there were closing ceremonies that the competitors could attend.
“If you don’t want to do that, you can go do your own things. At a certain point in age, you just go home and go to bed,” said Boettger, as the whole group laughed and agreed as they sat at the table.
Not resting on their laurels, the group were back to the dart board on Friday. They invite more players to join them. It’s clear that if you can keep up with the group, you could be a national talent.