Noa-Lynn van Leuven: ‘I think darts is helping me to be the best of myself’

Dutch darts player will become first trans woman to play in a televised PDC tournament after long road back to a sport she loves

Before everything that happened, before the desolation and the despair, before life changed for ever, there was a set of darts. Her parents gave them to her at the age of eight, and when she picked them up she felt a rare and powerful contentment. She threw and she threw. She threw her way into the Netherlands youth team. She devoured Raymond van Barneveld games on television. She dreamed of playing professionally, travelling the world, her name on the big screen. She was Noa-Lynn van Leuven, even if nobody called her that yet.

“I just had a feeling with the game,” she says from her home in Heemskerk, just outside Amsterdam. “I like the whole fight around it. I love watching darts, I love playing darts, and even if I wasn’t on the level I am now, I would still love it. I work long days in a kitchen as a chef de partie, and try to practise for an hour every day, so I don’t do much else. I work, I play darts and I sleep.”

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