PubAid, which is a working party dedicated to promoting pubs as a force for good in their local communities, was given the donation of four players’ shirt sponsorship from Sky Business and shows support “for the hospitality industry, and pubs specifically, at a key time of year for the trade”.
Starting on Friday 15 December 2023, and running for three weeks, the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace in north London, will be screened on Sky Sports and is always a major draw for darts fans across the world.
One of the players sponsored, Fallon Sherrock, was the first woman to triumph of the world’s biggest stage when she beat Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic in the 2019-20 World Championship.
Joining her with shirt sponsorship are Steve Beaton, Ryan Joyce and Luke Woodhouse. These three players will also have the name of each of the three winners of the last PubAid Community Pub Hero Awards in 2022 on their shirt to commemorate individual pubs and publicans as well as the industry body, PubAid, supporting them.
Bringing communities together
Sky Business marketing director Tracy Harrison said: “We have donated our sponsorship because we want to give something back and raise awareness of all the good that pubs do in uniting people and bringing communities together and there is no better organisation that communicates this than PubAid.
“Honouring the winners of Community Pub Heroes from last year also shows how important these industry awards are and the positive awareness they can raise.”
Beaton is a former world no.1 darts player and will feature the Bellflower in Garstang on his shirt. This pub won the Community Support Hero award for its work helping the local community including free Christmas dinners, sanitary products and school uniforms for local families struggling in the cost-of-living crisis.
Royce won his first PDC title in 2020 in Milton Keynes and will feature the Dog & Parrot in Nottingham on his shirt. This pub won the Community Regular Hero Award for the work one of its regulars, Glyn Hassell, does on behalf of the community raising money for charities of all sizes and local groups.
Woodhouse, also known as Woody, is another favourite of the PDC crowds. The pub featured on his shirt is the Beeswing in Northallerton. This pub won the Charity Fundraising Hero award in 2022 for setting up the Cowtonbury Music Festival, which has been an annual charity event since 2014. The team hopes the festival in 2024 will help them raise a grand total of £200,000 for charity.
Industry needs support
PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan added: “A lot of pubs will be busier over the festive period but the hospitality industry does still need everyone’s support. This is such a great way to get the PubAid name out to a world audience.
“We’re here to tell the good stories and positive news from pubs and how they unite communities, especially through sport. Whether that’s pub sports teams or through getting together to watch the big games and tournaments in a variety of sports.
“We wish our players the best of luck and will be cheering them on throughout this competition.”
Sherrock will first play on Sunday 17 December, in the evening session at 7pm; Beaton is at the oche on Tuesday 19 December in the evening session at 7pm; Joyce starts his campaign on Wednesday 20 December in the evening session at 7pm; and Woodhouse will throw his first dart on Thursday 21 December in the afternoon session at 12.30pm.
The Pub Aid Community Pub Hero Awards are now open for nominations for the 2024 awards ceremony and close on 19 January. Entries are free and can be completed online.