Following a review - 'walk-on girls' will no longer be used at darts events
Players participating in this weekend’s Unibet Masters event in the UK will not be accompanied by the famed walk-on girls.
The Professional Darts Corporation has confirmed that walk-on girls will no longer be used at its events, effective immediately.
The practice of women accompanying male darts players onto the stage at darts events has been in existence for years and has been the subject of regular criticism; the PDC said it took the decision based on feedback from broadcasters of darts events.
"We regularly review all aspects of our events and this move has been made following feedback from our host broadcasters," the PDC said in a statement to the Press Association.
Speaking to AD Sportwereld last year, world number one Michael Gerwen foresaw such a move taking place.
"The PDC wants more people to see it as a sport. It does not interest me (walk-on girls). It is just a sport," Van Gerwen said.
Van Gerwen’s compatriot, Raymond van Barneveld, is opposed to the decision, tweeting a link to a petition on Friday to maintain the tradition of walk-on girls, a petition that has received over 5,000 signatures to date.
— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) January 26, 2018
The decision by the PDC is likely to lead to a review of women performing similar roles in other sports such as Formula One and boxing; in December of last year, Ross Brawn, F1 managing director of motorsports, told the BBC that the use of female promotional models is a "delicate topic" which is "under strong review".