Hartlepool teenager to compete in junior darts world championship
A Hartlepool teenager who started throwing magnetic darts at just three years old will shortly compete in the Junior Darts Corporation World Championship.
Callum Beddow was beating grown adults at darts when he was so small he needed a step to retrieve his flights from the board.
Now the 13-year-old is getting ready to compete in the JDC Advanced Tour, in Gloucestershire, this summer and World Championship in Gibraltar this November.
Callum began playing darts on a magnetic board when he was just three and upgraded to a real darts board age five.
Parents Paul and Claire took the youngster to Cleveland Youth Darts, in Thornaby, aged seven – but at this stage he’d never thrown darts at that height and distance.
So he went home and practised and around a year later he returned to “show them what he can do”.
By eight years old he was playing for the county.
"He was very small, he was that small that he had to use a little orange step to get darts back off the board,” said dad Paul.
"He started to win more and more and we took him to take part in an adult competition in Hartlepool They didn’t take him seriously at first but he reached the final after beating two or three blokes.
"He was beat by men in the final twice before he won on his third attempt.”
Now, Callum, who is autistic, is dedicating his time preparing for the upcoming tournaments.
Callum is believed to be the second youngest player at the World Championships and will be going up against teenagers up to 18 years old.
Paul added: “He was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum when he was five or six years old. With maths he’s second to none but it’s socially that he struggles more. He didn’t want to go into school assemblies because they were too loud.
“But darts has helped him so much to grow and challenge himself.
"Darts is not a quiet sport but he just deals with it, he’s overcome so much. We are so proud of him.”
Callum, who attends English Martyrs School, has been sponsored by Top Gun Promotions and charity Reverse Rett.