Catching up with Tori Kewish
Tori ‘Torza’ Kewish must have darts in her blood. The daughter of player Steve Kewish started playing darts at the age of 14. After watching her dad play for years, Tori decided to give it a go, and discovering a natural talent and love of the game, she kept playing. She really hit her stride in 2017-2018, winning six Grand Prix events to rank Australian Women’s number one while barely in her twenties. And the young 2020 winner of the Victorian Classic doesn’t look like she’ll be stopping anytime soon.
Due to release her own Shot Pro Series darts range in April 2020, Tori stepped off the oche long enough to give us some tips for young female darts players, and what’s next for the future of women’s darts.
Tell us how you choose your darts – what factors influence you?
When I got the opportunity to choose a set of darts that I could call my own, I wanted to stick with a straight barrel that was similar to what I had already. Something that would fly through the air nicely and work with the hard straight forward throw I have, that would also be comfortable in my hands. I've loved them since then. And it’s been I think about six years now. And I still am so happy with them and excited that they are going to be launched in the Shot Pro Series soon.
Do you think there's any difference in the way men and women play?
Personally, I do. I think it's a mindset thing – not so much the physical aspect of darts. Ladies can throw down what the men can any day but not as consistently. Men tend to be a little bit more competitive than women. Not saying all men are, but you look at the top male players: they all have that determination and drive that you don't see many of the ladies having. Ladies do have the competitiveness of course, but I think what makes a professional male dart player is purely the competitiveness and levels of adrenaline that seem to naturally skyrocket, more than they do in women.
Can you share any tips that might help female players out there: i.e. stance, grip or overall tips?
It's important to be comfortable when you're throwing. If you aren’t comfortable then you're concentrating more on trying to force it to work than your actual darts. Everyone throws and stands differently – only you can decide what works for you. Comfort is the key.
What advice would you give female players starting out?
Don't be too hard on yourself at the beginning. It takes hard work and dedication and especially patience to get anywhere in darts. Be confident and respectful and it'll get you a long way.
Are there any challenges you've had to overcome as a female playing darts?
I think when starting so young it can be overwhelming, and when you have a couple of wins at the beginning it can get a bit much when it comes to expectations and all of that. I got a bit ahead of myself as a young one and it didn't work in my favour at all. I lost interest for a little bit, had a break from the big tournaments and focused on school. I grew up, matured and started to love darts again and now I'm beyond glad that I did that, because I wouldn't change anything for the world.
Women playing in the World Champs is an overdue and exciting development. Where do you hope female darts could go from here?
Absolutely stoked for the women who got the opportunity. We have perfect ambassadors for ladies darts on the world stage and this could create more opportunities for us to show the men that we are here and can match up with the boys. Get rid of the stereotypes and show the world that ladies are ready to take over! And for ladies to get taken seriously as dart players too. A ladies challenge tour supported by the PDC Darts Championship would be incredible of course. The amount of publicity that it would get with the backing of the PDC, would be incredible for the future of ladies darts. Having more ladies on the big stage would also be incredible.