Trina Gulliver World Darts Champion
Interview and article by Myak Homberger
Trina is a remarkable athlete and woman. A skilled carpenter by day, by evening and weekend she travels the world winning competitions and titles. As we speak, she has won over 100 titles and 9 World Championships, 50 caps for England as well as a list of accolades as long as your arm - including an MBE from the Queen for ‘Services to Darts and Charitable Fund Raising’. One of the charming and disarming things about Trina is that whilst chatting I ask her what is next for her and she reels off the next couple of months’ activities - and nestled in there is “oh and go to Buckingham palace to receive my MBE” - said in such a relaxed manner, it’s lovely.
However the interesting thing is that although she is proud of the award, what means most to her is that it is not just for her contribution to the word of darts, but for her charity work. This is not a star who is at the front of flashy campaigns and just turns up for the cameras. Here is someone who gets on the bike, walks or gets in the pool to raise
money for charity and who shuns the spotlight of the charity work she does. Even when we talk she is very vague about the detail, she just gets on with it. It’s clear that this is close to her heart and why this means so much: her work has been noticed.
Trina’s passion for the sport is obvious; she speaks with such enthusiasm of every aspect of it. The interesting thing is that despite where she has gotten to she still plays County level darts. Why? “I am loyal and I know how they supported me in the early days,” she says reflecting on this. For me this speaks volumes of her commitment to the sport rather than self-improvement alone. Her passion and self-effacing character is further borne out by her comments about her first cap and what it means to represent England. “I ran down the road screaming, people thought I was mad,” she says laughing. When she was informed about being made England Captain, she broke down in tears - a genuine response that reflects who she is and what she has achieved. Trina has achieved a great deal - but she has done it whilst firmly on the ground, not having lost sight of who she is, of what the sport means to her and the honour of representing England.
Aside from all of this, the charity work, the accolades and a huge amount of titles, the standout thing about Trina is her huge contribution and impact on women’s darts worldwide. When she started there was no TV coverage and only a handful of decent players. Over the years she has campaigned, fought and tirelessly worked to improve the women’s game, all at her own personal cost and no financial gain for her. It has paid off.
The BBC now cover women’s darts, the women play alongside the men, there is a large body of professional female darts players and growing grassroots participation. Figures always speak volumes. Viewing figures for the last TV coverage were 1.8 million for the women’s final and 1.9 million for the men’s final! That is an incredible achievement and shows that Trina’s dedication to the sport has paid off. What a legend and pioneer of the game.