C4I/Atlas Charity Darts-A-Thon

Four members of RAF Marham’s C4I/Atlas Team recently took part in a 24 hour charity darts challenge to raise money and awareness for Downs Syndrome support groups.

This charity was chosen not only to raise awareness of the sterling work that is carried out by the carers of Down Syndrome people, but also that of the small splinter groups which exist all around the country.

Flight Sergeant Gus Cunningham who organised the event said: “My own son, Matthew who is now nearly six has Downs, he is the same as any other six year old but just requires that little bit more stimulation and looking after. Downs Syndrome is not a disease, you can’t catch it, but it affects a large number of people around the world. The assistance received from the support groups is invaluable.”

Flight Sergeant Gus Cunningham, Flight Sergeant Andy Stark, Sergeant Dave Oates and Mr Neil Sizer, all seasoned tea bar darts players readied themselves at 1200 midday on the 9th of February 2011 for the gruelling slog through until 1200 midday on the 10th February 2011, with the overwhelming possibility of repetitive strain to the throwing arm and cramp in the triceps!  Four players, one board, 24 hours, 225,000 target, playing proper games of 501.

The challenge was kicked off by Gus Cunningham throwing the first dart, which was deflected away from the treble twenty in to the single by the wire. It was time to make a mark; this was done by Andy Stark with 38 legs undefeated until the tiredness kicked in. During his run he managed a couple of 180 scores, numerous 140’s and a plethora of 100 plus scores. Games continued through the afternoon and evening with the scores getting steadily lower and the legs taking longer, we needed a pick up, a light at the end of the tunnel, a goal to aspire too.

Up to the oche once again for Andy Stark, and average leg of darts until it came to the three dart finish, treble 20, treble 19, double 18, a fantastic finish of 153.  Some might even say of PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) calibre! We were back on target. Through the night we battled on supported by the WO & Sgts’ Mess staff, until at exactly 05:19 in the morning Dave Oates (the statistics man) announced that the target had been hit 225,000 points with hours in hand.

We decided to continue for the full 24 hours and see how many points we could accumulate, Dave Oates did his thing again working out that we could make 300,000 plus but it was going to be a push, we needed to be averaging over 65 per three arrows thrown.  As 1200 midday drew close the arrows were hitting the board at a terrific rate which gave us the grand finishing total of 300,240 points scored in a 24 hour period. We raised a grand total of £600 and a large screen TV.

My thanks have to go out to Andy Stark, Dave Oates and Neil Sizer for helping me to complete this challenge and also to all those people that sponsored us. Thanks to the Chairman of the Mess Committee for the WO & Sgts’ Mess, for allowing us to use the mess bar as a venue and the mess staff for keeping up the moral during the night. Special thanks also have to go to Double GG Clothing of Kings Lynn for donating four named polo shirts.

Please feel free to try and beat this score but remember do it for charity – every little helps.

Written By: Flight Sergeant Gus Cunningham


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