On Monday 17th September, Professional darts player, Nathan Aspinall, paid a visit to the TIMco offices where he presented a signed shirt and gave the TIMco team an insight into his professional darts skills first-hand. Nathan wanted to say thank you to TIMco for the sponsorship he received that helped him compete at the highest level throughout the year and also for their ongoing support.
TIMco has proudly sponsored Nathan for the past year, having been first introduced by his manager and promoter, Martin Foulds, who is also the owner of Prestige Building Supplies, Rochdale, one of TIMco’s UK stockists.
TIMco caught up with Nathan for a quick interview to find out about his journey into darts and aspirations for the future:
How did you get into darts?
“When I was 18, I started going to the pub with both my dad and grandad and we’d all play darts together. I discovered that I had a natural talent for it, and so from there I went onto playing in pub leagues for my local town, Stockport. My career has snowballed from there.”
How long have you been playing?
“I’ve been playing for 9 years now, but it was 3 years ago that I achieved professional status. Just a year ago, I left my previous job as an accountant to become a full-time darts player.”
You’ve just claimed your first PDC ranking title – a fantastic achievement! It must be quite overwhelming to suddenly find yourself surrounded by top players. How have you coped with the shift, psychologically?
“It’s been a huge deal for me, and also for my family. But what’s fantastic about the darts world is that it doesn’t necessarily have the same elitism as some sports. You can find yourself sat beside the world champion at the bar and he will still chat to you like a mate. As most of us have come from the same humble beginnings, which keeps us all in the same boat and means it’s a really lovely grounded culture to be a part of.”
Who is your inspiration?
“Rob Cross is a great inspiration to me, he left his job last year and within 12 months became a world champion. I played against him this year and he only just won, which to me is a fantastic milestone.”
How do you prepare for a game?
“What most people probably don’t realise is that being good at darts is all about how you mentally prepare and engage with it. Anyone can throw, but it takes a lot of practice and dedication to give it the right level of concentration and focus. In order to be successful, a player needs to be very focused and mentally strong.”
How often do you practice?
“When I was working my way up towards professional status, I was practicing around 5-6 hours a day, which can be very mentally taxing. However, like most sports, what you put in is typically representative of what you get out.”
Do you always use the same darts?
“I am very attached to my darts, which might sound silly but almost any darts player will tell you the same thing! I’ve got both my daughters’ names lasered into the tip which is very special to me. However, I do change my flights pretty regularly!”
Do you have a specific ritual you do before you play an important game?
“I’m quite superstitious so I won’t give too much away but I can tell you I like to change my dart flights and I tend to fold my towel the same way every time which is pretty weird according to my partner!”
How has TIMco’s sponsorship helped you?
“It’s been such a blessing to have such fantastic sponsors behind my darts career, as backing really is so essential to being able to stay in the game and further your career. I would love to say a huge thank you to the TIMco team for supporting me in my journey so far and for continuing to support me as I prepare for the biggest 6 months of my life!”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“In the next 2 years, I aspire to be in the top 30 in the world and in 5 years I’d like to see myself as one of the top 10.”
TIMco is head quartered in Nantwich, Cheshire and imports and supplies more than 6,500 product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. The company was established in 1970 and now employs 150+ members of staff from its offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan. For more information, visit www.TIMco.co.uk.