Henry Coates receives Junior World Champion title

Henry Coates, an NCFE Level 3 Sport and Physical Activity student, has just won the Junior Darts World Cup as England Captain. He flew over to Gibraltar last week to take part and has come back to college with a new title to his name. What an achievement. We spoke to Henry about his love for the sport and how his course coincides with his plans within the industry. 

Henry started playing darts at the age of two.

“I first got into darts when one of my brother’s friends brought me a magnetic darts board for my second birthday. Then for my third Christmas, I wanted a proper set of darts and a darts board. I started throwing on a chair at the proper height, from the proper distance as I couldn’t reach. I started in my first pub league when I was 6. It didn’t go down well with some of the people, but they let me play in the end and I beat them. I stayed in a local league for two years before joining a darts academy which helped me to develop.”

“The James Caven Darts academy In Derby is where I won my first official competition when I was 9. It was quite exciting to realise the potential I had in Darts. I look forward to competing every time I play. I still go to the academy now to help teach the next generation.”

Playing for England as captain is a massive achievement!

“I played for the England B side, which I qualified for through all the academies in England, it’s all under the JDC flag. I was in the top four rankings which meant I got selected for the England B side. I got selected for the England A side the year after. This was done by attending a series of competitions over the year. I finished 3rd in my second year and this year 1st. I’m now England captain. 

I go to completions now as a team with England but you will always compete solo. When you play in a team, it’s not for money but for pride for your country.  

This was the first year playing as a captain and we won the world championship last week in Gibraltar.”

Henry is hoping to become a professional adult dart player. 

“If I do well, I can qualify to become a professional adult darts player. You can do this from the age of 16. I’ve always been able to play in adult competitions as there isn’t usually an age restriction, but you stop playing in junior competitions when you are 18.  

I’m moving onto the development tour now which is what you play in from 16 – 23. This is what I’ll do for the next 5/6 years.”

The college has been really understanding of Henry’s competitions.   

“Aidan’s been really good. There’s not been a time when he’s stopped me as he understands the importance. It’s nice they are supportive when I don’t know where I might be next.”

The course will give Henry a multitude of opportunities when he qualifies.

“I chose the course because of the opportunities it will give me after college. Plus I did sports GCSE and wanted to carry on. 

I have been surprised by all the course being coursework and practical rather than exams. It’s nice doing it in your own time and not having to worry about revision and exams.  

The course has helped with the motivation side, if you have a bad result, you can motivate yourself and others for the next game.  

I am hoping to go into coaching or football analytics after my course. Football is another interest of mine, it’s something I can do alongside my Darts too. Hopefully, I will become a full-time darts player but it’s nice to have something to fall back on and can make a living out of.”


Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.