So Corrine, what an absolutely fantastic last year? Can you put into words how you feel about your game and the rise to prominence in the last 12 month?
2016 was a massive year for me in terms of travelling, and also playing ‘internationally’ – I’ve made 8 trips overseas in 14 months, with more still a possibility for 2017! The experience has been worth it though, as the results I achieved improved my ranking and led me to qualify as a seed for this year’s World Championships, which was my goal. Making the final of the World Championships has put me somewhat in the limelight, but really, there hasn’t been much difference in my game itself – and apart from a floor game here or there, I’ve yet to really play as well overseas as what I generally do at home – which is frustrating for me!
How has it all changed since the ‘early’ days, especially playing alongside seasoned women on the tour such as Deta and Trina?
While I’m not a newcomer to the game of darts as such, I am fairly new to the ‘Tour’
Two years ago I had no idea how women qualified for the BDO World Championships. Living on the other side of the world and Australia not really being a dart ‘hot spot’, it’s not something that’s so much in the forefront of players’ mind (particularly women). If you’d have said to me then that in two years’ time I would have played in two World Championships, the World Trophy and a number of tournaments within UK and Europe, having played against the likes of Deta, Anastasia and Lisa AND been a World Championship runner-up myself – I would never have believed it!
Do you see a day when women will compete with men or would you prefer it if the women had their own tournaments anyway?
I believe there’s room enough within the sport to continue with both men’s and women’s own competitions and see no reason why it would need to be combined. Just about every other sport affords women the opportunity to have their own place and identity within it, and I don’t believe darts should be any different.
How did you get into darts in the first place?
My next door neighbour at the time had a dart board in his garage, and we used to play games such as killer and cricket. He finally convinced me to head down to the local club one weekend with him for a social afternoon of drawn pairs. The look on the face of the man I was drawn with when I asked him how to play a game of darts was pretty priceless – but up until that point, I had no idea how a ‘game’ was played. His advice to me was to ‘throw my darts at the board’! From that day, I was pretty much hooked, and as they say – the rest is history!
You made the final of the World’s, have you been putting in extra practice for the events now you have a reputation or is it a matter of whatever will be will be?
I’m not one to feel pressured to live up to anyone else’s expectations apart from my own, so I’ll continue doing what feels comfortable for me
Do you think there is enough exposure for the women, for example in the commentary box and in the darting media in general?
To be honest, I never really watch darts on tv, so I can’t make comment on the comms box chatter. I do believe there is gap in the media for women’s darts, and feel that they are missing some great opportunities in highlighting achievements being made by players within the women’s game
How much coverage have you been getting in Australia? Is it a hot bed for darts like in the UK or is it a rather low key sport?
Australia is nothing like the UK when it comes to darts. Don’t get me wrong, the players love the game just the same, but we don’t have the number of players, the history, or the passion of the punters that you find in UK/Europe, and we’re definitely lacking in the type of media exposure you find overseas. As for coverage I’ve had, I’ve had some air time on the local news channel, but that’s about it – and that’s just the way I like it!
What do you think is the worst part of the sport?
I don’t like that all the big events are a 24 hour plane trip away!
Do you suffer from nerves and how do you overcome it psychologically?
I believe the psychological component is an integral part of darts. Everyone can hit trebles and doubles, but it’s about being able to put it all together at the right time – consistently – and learning how to overcome things such as nerves and adrenaline plays a big part in this. Most players do have their own techniques for what works for them, and I’m no different.
You come across as a woman who likes a laugh and joke. Who else out of the women is like that on the tour and are there any stories that you can share.
As the saying goes “What happens on tour stays on tour!” But I will say yes – I have had plenty of laughs and jokes along the way!
Do you prepare differently, knowing that you are going to be on the TV?
I may put a little extra effort in doing my hair, but apart from that, no – nothing is different!
Have ever felt like packing it all in? If so, what makes you stick with it?
I’ve never felt like packing it, I enjoy it too much. I regularly reassess my goals, make changes or set new ones, and this motivates me to keep going.
Who’s your favourite band or singer?
I don’t really have one. I’m a mainstream music girl, mostly Top 40 stuff.
How often do you get recognised in the street and where is the strangest place someone has recognised you?
I only get recognised if it’s someone I know! Hahaha…
What do you like having for your tea (dinner – for posh people) and what do you like drinking?
One of my mates cooks the best steak ever, with this awesome bacon and mushroom sauce, that’s definitely my favourite meal and Thai comes a very close second. My favourite drink is Butterscotch Schnapps – which should preferably be cold, and must be drunk from a shot glass! And then there’s Jack Daniels…
Home & Away or Neighbours?
I haven’t watched either of those since I was in school, although I’m sure I could start again and catch on to the story line in just a few episodes!
What’s a flamin’ gallar? What’s a Drongo?
This seems to be the question of a Home and Away fan – as Alf Stewart is the only person I know of who uses these terms! Flaming galah and drongo are pretty much the same thing – someone who’s a bit of a fool/idiot
What advice do you have for women trying to break through in darts, especially with the stigma that some attach to it?
If it’s something you enjoy – stick at it, you never know where it will take you.
How much of a struggle is it to fund the events? How did you fund you way around the globe playing tournaments?
I don’t really have to self-fund a lot – and when I say that, I mean self-fund doesn’t include what I pick up at tournaments I play in – that pretty much keeps me going from one place to the next. I’m also very fortunate I have a great job that I love, one that both keeps paying the bills, and is supportive of my darts.
Who are your darting hero/heroes?
I don’t have any to be honest. I didn’t grow up in a darting family, nor was I involved in darts as a young kid, and that’s where heroes and idols usually evolve from – that one person you were in awe of when you were little. There are plenty of people that I admire for their achievements though.
What particular venue do you like playing at? Do you think it affects your game and mental preparations?
Geelong Dart Club in Victoria is my most favourite place to play – I get to go there two or three times a year, and I love it – and it’s always been very kind to me results wise too. It’s the only darts club in Australia that I am an actual member of – and it’s about a 12 hour drive from home!
What made you decide on your walk on music? Are you planning on changing it?
When I realised that I had to choose a walk on song for the 2016 World Championships it completely freaked me out, because I had no idea, and it wasn’t something I had ever really given thought to. Friends found great amusement in giving continual suggestions such as ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Hammer Time’ and the like. In the end, it was the very last day that I had to send the info back in, and I was in my car and ‘Sugar’ came on, and I just thought ‘I like this song – I’ll choose this one’. Maybe I’ll change it, but I’m sure that would involve further anxiety in finding a replacement!
Who’s you best mate on the BDO tour?
I have my core group of friends that I mostly travel/stay with around Australia, and refer to as my ‘squad’. We’re also friends away from darts too, so they’re not just ‘dart mates’. With making so many trips abroad over the last year, I’ve made some good friends I keep regular contact with too – I’m a lucky girl to have good friends on both sides of the world!
What things do you like about the UK and what don’t you like about it?
I love the darts in the UK – The tournaments are so much fun, and I do have a great time. I’m not so much a fan that it gets so cold! I am an Aussie girl at heart and I love the Australian lifestyle, I don’t think I could ever give that up.
Finally, what would you like to change about darts, if you could?
Hold some of the big events in Australia – everyone else can have a turn at travelling 24 plus hours and then get up to play!
Thanks Corrine, really appreciate your time.