Māori darts player takes aim at the world

By James Perry

This weekend will see the world's best darts players competing in Auckland.

Tahuna Irwin-Ahlers from Gisborne will be one of the Kiwi contingent taking up the mighty challenge. 

Irwin-Ahlers has his focus locked in on some of the world's best players.

He says, "It's overwhelming.  I'm actually pretty excited, just got to go in there do my best, really."

The 21-year-old is a darts player on the rise. 

With only three years experience, Irwin-Ahlers last year became our youngest singles champion and has represented New Zealand internationally.

He has been to Japan, where he says he "did not too bad," and also represented NZ at the Trans-Tasman series in Dubbo, Australia.

He gained entry to the Auckland Darts Masters at a recent tournament in Invercargill. 

Not only will Irwin-Ahlers be competing against the world's best this weekend, he has also secured his entry to the World Darts Championships in London in December- one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

Darts is a family affair for Tahuna. 

He got into the game when his grandfather, Tom Irwin's team asked Tahuna's mother if her son could jump in as his side was short one night.

"I went down and did pretty good for my first time and I just got hooked into it.  It was just fun playing darts!" 

That one night filling in for his koro has led to a meteoric rise for this young man.