FEATURE: South Yorkshire schoolgirl is set on world darts title
She's just 12 years old but Doncaster schoolgirl and darts sensation Beau Greaves is changing the face of the game with her meteoric rise to the top within two years of throwing her first dart.
Dubbed Beau’n’Arrow on the international circuit, over recent months the quiet Ridgewood School pupil won the England Classic and the England Matchplay, the Yorkshire classic, the Welsh Open and now, incredibly, the European Cup, involving 17 nations.
England’s youth team, that Beau joined in February, triumphed in the European at Hungary, and as singles winner she only dropped one leg of darts in the four days of competition, against the world number two.
She also beat her England counterpart Danielle Ashton 3-0 in the quarter finals. She and Danielle were runners-up in the pairs.
She is the youngest ever to win this competition, in fact all of them, and smashes record after record.
Her brother Taylor, 19, introduced her to the sport.
Last month Beau met Michael Van Gerwen, the Dutch player ranked world number one, at Blackpool and they played a friendly. She threw two 140s against him and the two became friends.
Beau has five siblings and lives with parents Dave and Tracy in Sprotbrough.
Only she and Taylor show an aptitude for darts, and her father is a keen player.
Beau grew in confidence playing the Doncaster and District Monday night Men’s League - dad Dave trawled every single member pub to seek permission for his daughter to play and every team welcomed her with open arms , bar one single club.
She went on to win the Men’s U30s last season and threw the most 180s in the league.
People flock to watch her said Dave, 59, because of her effortless style. “She’s just beautiful to watch. She’s a natural. She’s got something that can’t be taught.”
He continued: “Beau loves playing darts, it’s as simple as that.
She’ll go out with her friends sometimes but as soon as she’s back she’s in the conservatory throwing her darts.
“It’s no longer the cliched pub game. It’s a game of skill, accuracy and mental agility - it’s great for maths.
“Her brother’s a fantastic player too. He recognised Beau had something special from her first throw. He shouted me to go and watch her.”
Beau is now focused on adding another win to her tally and it’s one she hungers for, said her dad.
She was narrowly beaten in her first final of the Winmau World Masters U18s Youth title to 17-year old Robyn Byrne, when Beau had been playing darts for only four months.
“That’s the one she wants right now,” said Dave. “She’s already through to the final stages because of her successive wins. We’ll be there cheering her on.”
His daughter is unflinching under the spotlight glare and the television cameras, said her proud dad.
“She rarely shows emotion and if she loses a game she’ll just shrug and say ‘She’s beaten me tonight but she won’t beat me again’.”
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He admits there were some tears when she threw her final double for the European title - but mainly from mum Tracy.
Beau’s ultimate aim is to be World Champion before she is 18.
“It’s still all fun to her, doing what she loves to do,” said Tracy, 50. “She does make her own decisions. We have been accused of being pushy parents but that’s not true.
“We support Beau. She has a very mature and positive attitude. She doesn’t see herself as anything special. Most people in her school don’t even know she plays darts.”
Her headteacher , Maggie Dunn, said: ‘We are very proud of Beau’s achievements in darts. She is an ambassador for both the sport and the school, and is clearly a talent to watch in the future.
“We look forward to seeing her success continue.”
Women’s darts is becoming much more prominent and Beau is doing a great deal to encourage more girls to enter the sport.
She’s tipped widely as the one to watch and her phenomenal success is to be charted by the BBC in a documentary to be aired in the autumn.
Later this year she plays in Jersey and is to pit her skills against the oldest player she’s likely to meet, Alvena Renouf aged 85.
The youngster is sponsored and supported currently by Shaun Rose at Moto-breakers and Jason Burkhill at Project Darts, along with her cousin Malcolm Greaves. Their help has been much appreciated, her father added.
Ironically Beau’s walk-on song that she has chosen is the Bros classic ‘When Will I be Famous’?
She seems to be totally unaware that in the world of darts and much further afield she already is....
Name - Beau Greaves
Sport - Darts
Lives - Sprotbrough, Doncaster
School - Ridgewood School, Doncaster
Most recent title - European Youth Cup 2016
Nickname - Beau’n’Arrow
Next major competition - Winmau World Masters U8s
First major title - Sheffield Ladies’ Darts Masters
Television - numerous appearances, Darts Factor reality TV show
Local league - Doncaster District Men’s League
Main mentor - brother TaylorGoal - World title before the age of 18