Chesterfield darts walk-on girl '˜sad' as bosses stop the tradition
A darts walk-on girl from Chesterfield says she feels '˜sad' after the tradition was scrapped.
For years glamorous women have escorted male professional darts players onto the stage before matches.
But The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has announced the girls will no longer be used at its tournaments.
Married mum-of-one Daniella Allfree told the Derbyshire Times: “I am 30-years-old and I knew it was not going to last forever. It is a shock that the job has come to an end. It is quite sad.
“We are a very close knit community at the darts. We are all really good friends and it is a lovely environment. I will really miss it.”
Daniella, who lives in Boythorpe, has been a darts walk-on girl for six years and is one of the more famous girls on the circuit.
She said the job amounted for 60 per cent of her income and that she got a lot of other jobs off the back of it.
The model said the girls were told about the decision the day after The Presidents Club scandal broke last Thursday, in which hostesses were allegedly groped at a men-only charity dinner.
But Daniella said that although what happened to the hostesses was ‘terrible’, the role of a walk-on girl was totally different and it was a ‘secure’ job.
The decision to axe the girls has sparked debate and Daniella appeared on ITV’s This Morning programme on Monday with her fellow walk-on girl Charlotte Wood to put their points across.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “The feminists feel like they are doing us a favour but we are individual women. It is like we are going back in time.
“It is our choice to do the job. I was very proud to have the job. I felt like I was part of something.”
Daniella has done similar roles on the F1 grid and at big horse racing events which she described as ‘prestigious’.
When asked if she thinks other sports will follow darts in scrapping walk-on girls, she said: “I presume so. I think it is the wrong decision.
“We are a bit scared. This is a big industry with a lot of jobs.”
She added: “I don’t believe the decision will be reversed.”
An online petition which was started by a darts fan to save the walk-on girls has received 30,000 signatures.
Explaining the reason for scrapping the girls, a PDC spokesman said: “We regularly review all aspects of our events and this move has been made following feedback from our host broadcasters.”