PARKINSON'S UK and the Professional Darts Corporation are celebrating a memorable year of activity, which saw thousands of darts fans give generously at tournaments across the country, raising over £200,000 to support ground-breaking research into Parkinson's, and creating awareness under the banner of 'Targeting Parkinson's'.

Parkinson's UK was chosen as the PDC's official charity partner for 2016 thanks in part to Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark, who has presented darts coverage for many years and played a key role in the partnership.

Dave, who has lived with Parkinson's himself since being diagnosed in 2011, decided to take on his own personal challenge by walking 200 miles coast to coast, from Cumbria to North Yorkshire, with a host of colleagues, friends and family.

A staggering £150,000 was raised with the help of Sky Sports and donations from many more who were moved by his determination and courage.

Dave Clark explains: "I've always been a passionate supporter of both Parkinson's UK and the PDC, and I am incredibly proud of what the darts community has achieved.

"Parkinson's will eventually rob me of my smile, my personality, even my ability to walk and talk. But there are reasons to be optimistic about the future, and there is hope.

"Ground-breaking research costs money – working together this year, over £200,000 has been raised for Parkinson's UK, which will go a long way in helping to discover new and better treatments."


Ian Savage, Corporate Relationships Manager for Parkinson's UK, commented: "We can't thank the Professional Darts Corporation, Chairman Barry Hearn and Chief Executive Matt Porter enough for giving us this opportunity and supporting us during the year.

"We would also like to thank Betway, Betvictor and William Hill for their generous donations, and Dave Clark's involvement has been outstanding.

"A very special thanks must also go to around 300 volunteers who gave up their time at 19 venues across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, culminating in two weeks at London's Alexandra Palace for the William Hill World Darts Championship.

"Some of our volunteers responded to calls in their local media to join us, and some travelled across the country to be part of the fun – we could not have done it without them. Thank you!"


Fundraising activities by Parkinson's UK volunteers at events - including darts-based games at both the BetVictor World Matchplay and William Hill World Darts Championship - were accompanied by donations from sponsors Betway, BetVictor and William Hill, as well as auctions of memorabilia including signed dartboards and an auction at the PDC Annual Awards Dinner.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn added: "We're delighted that such a fantastic sum has been raised for Parkinson's UK over the past 12 months.

"It's been a pleasure to work alongside them and also to support Dave Clark's incredible Coast to Coast walk.

"Parkinson's UK is a valued charity performing great work, and we hope that the money raised this year will help in their ongoing research and search for a cure for this condition."


For more information about Parkinson's UK, visit www.parkinsons.uk.org or follow @ParkinsonsUK on Twitter.