The annual Vivian Rankine memorial darts tournament was as much about the sport as it was about a schoolboy.
George Rankine, son of the late Vivian Rankine, took centre stage at the competition held last weekend at Corner Pocket.
George, 14, would start the tournament as usual with the throwing of the first darts. In years past he would hit the bull’s eye.
This time around he would make 32 points and hit his father’s favourite double in all of darts.
For his efforts George would get a medal and a gift certificate to Little Tokyo on West Bay Road.
Some might consider that coincidence pure luck or divine intervention but one thing is certain: the youngster has been steadily practising over the years.
As George explains he plays darts electronically whenever he gets a free moment.
‘I don’t play much, like twice a week at the most, but when I do play it’s anytime after school.
‘Darts is a lot of fun and helps me relieve tension.’
He is currently enrolled at St. Ignatius Catholic School on Walkers Road in Grand Cayman.
As his mother Mavita Rankine explains George is a quiet, reserved boy who normally gets As and Bs in school.
Mavita also went on to point out that she doesn’t see darts affecting George’s grades in school.
‘I don’t really have a problem with it. He’s a stay at home child that makes me very proud.
‘My brother [Cruz Echenique] has electronic darts and George normally plays with them. He has fun and stays safe and that’s what matters most.’
In fact, word of George’s involvement with darts has reached school. Two of his teachers, including Campus Minister Diana Brodowska, even came out to the tournament to give George moral support.
Though Vivian passed away a decade ago in 1998 from cancer, George still has fond memories of his dad playing darts.
George might long to have his father in his life again but he has a very solid support system.
Among which is his mom’s family. Mavita is one of six children. Her three sisters are Rosa McLaughlin, Teresa Bowen (a probation officer in the CI Probation After-Care Unit) and Yolanda Ebanks (wife of Boatswain’s Beach managing director Joey Ebanks).
Darts may be a huge interest in the family but young George has dreams to excel beyond the dartboard and outside the bars.
He says he is aiming to one day be a marine biologist or a herpetologist. He went on to say that he enjoys studying about the sea and snakes.
At the end of the day George says he intends to be involved with darts for the love of the game.
‘In terms of going pro in darts I probably won’t. But I will definitely keep playing darts for fun.’