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WIERUM - darter Mats Gies

WIERUM – De 20-jarige Mats Gies uit Wierum rijdt met regelmaat het hele land door voor verschillende dartwedstrijden. Wonen in Wierum is daarvoor niet echt praktisch, geeft hij toe. ‘Als er wedstrijden in Noord-Brabant zijn is het natuurlijk een hele reis vanaf Wierum.’ Toch heeft Mats het er graag voor over. Zijn doel is overduidelijk; alsmaar beter worden.

Zo’n tweeënhalf jaar geleden kwam Mats voor het eerst in aanraking met de dartsport. In het plaatselijke café in Wierum werd elk halfjaar een darttoernooi gehouden en Mats besloot eens daar aan mee te doen. Hij vond het zo leuk dat hij direct besloot een dartbord en pijlen aan te schaffen en thuis te werken aan zijn darttechnieken. Een halfjaar later, bij het volgende toernooi in de kroeg, gooide hij niet onverdienstelijk en werd hij gevraagd voor het team van de kroeg. Met dat team speelt hij op dinsdagavond inmiddels in de eerste divisie van Friesland. ‘Op dinsdagavond reizen we met het team heel Friesland door voor wedstrijden. De wedstrijden worden ook wel eens bij ons in de kroeg gehouden en het eerste wat de tegenstanders dan doen wanneer ze uit de auto stappen is even de zeedijk opklimmen. Even naar de zee kijken.’

Mats speelt pas sinds kort bij de heren. Daarvoor werd hij bij de junioren onder de 18 jaar vierde. Vorig jaar maakte hij zijn debuut op een televisietoernooi, de Zuiderduin Masters. Hier verloor hij twee keer, maar toch kijkt hij met een fijn gevoel terug naar het toernooi. ‘Het was al heel wat dat ik hier aan mee mocht doen. Ik werd wat overvallen door de vele toeschouwers. In zo’n zaal zitten er dan zo’n 600 mensen toe te kijken. Dat is wel even wat anders dan een toernooi in een kroeg.’

Mats rijdt met dartvrienden Arnold Broersma, Danny Noppe en Theo de Jong geregeld het hele land door voor rankingtoernooien. Aan de hand van de punten die op deze toernooien gehaald worden kan hij zich plaatsen voor televisietoernooien en wedstrijden in het buitenland. Meedoen met wedstrijden in het buitenland, Duitsland, België en Engeland, is voor Mats een absoluut doel.

Financiën werken echter nog tegen. ‘Het rijden naar toernooien in Nederland kost al een hoop. Soms zijn we vanwege speeltijden genoodzaakt om in een hotel te slapen. Dit alles met elkaar kost een flinke duit. Als ik echt in het buitenland zou kunnen spelen zijn er sponsors nodig om dit te realiseren.’

Mats is momenteel dan ook op zoek naar sponsors die hem financieel willen ondersteunen voor reis- en hotelkosten.

In het dagelijks leven studeert Mats Geschiedenis aan de Rijksuniversiteit van Groningen, met deelvakken Media en Journalistiek. ‘Beide onderdelen interesseren me heel erg. Maar als ik zou moeten kiezen tussen mijn opleiding of het darten op topniveau, dan wist ik het wel. Dan werd het het darten.’

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