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Sunday 21 September 2014

Leah takes aim for World Cup

Published 24/09/2013 | 05:40

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Sligo darts player, Leah Fox (13) who will represent Ireland at the World Darts Cup in Newfoundland, Canada.

Thirteen-year-old Sligo schoolgirl, Leah Fox, is aiming for the top.

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Thirteen-year-old Sligo schoolgirl, Leah Fox, is aiming for the top.

The second year student at Mercy College is the youngest member of the Irish darts team taking part in the World Cup in Newfoundland, Canada, later this month.

"It's very exciting," she beams.

"I'm enjoying a good bit of banter with my friends in school because it's so unsual for a girl of my age to be playing in a World Cup.

"But they're all very proud of me and I'm sure they'll be supporting me all the way"

A native of Fallon Drive in Sligo town, Leah inherited a love of darts from her father, Paul, a well-known local darts player.

"I used to go to a lot of tournaments with Dad and I suppose that's where the interest began," explains Leah.

"I started playing seriously about four years ago.

"I was pretty good from an early age but I've put in a lot of practice to try to improve my game.

"We have a dartboard in a shed in the back garden and that's where I practice.

"I put in about six hours a week practice and it's all paying off"

Leah reached the All-Ireland singles semi-finals in Ennis last year and has also represented Ireland at European Championships in Belgium, Scotland and Hungary over the last three years.

But this will be her first World Cup appearance

She will be competing in Under 18 singles competitions and in mixed doubles with Galway player, Liam Gallagher (17)

"We'll be up against the top players in the world so it will be a huge challenge," says Leah.

"However, it will be a great honour to represent my country and I'll do the very best I can"

Leah's father, Paul, has been helping with training and preparations.

"Leah had a talent for the game as soon as she started playing," he says,.

"However, talent is not always enough. You have to put in the hours and hard work and Leah has certainly done that"

Leah will have the encouragement and support of her mother, Ann Marie McLoughlin, and sisters, Gemma (23), Naomi (20), Nicole (11) and Georgina (10) as she prepares for the big tournament.

Leah departs with the Irish team on September 29th and the World Cup, which runs for four days, starts on October 1st.

Sligo Champion

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