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Article: Bullseye Maths & Luke Humphries hit the target to support National Numeracy Day

Bullseye Maths & Luke Humphries hit the target to support National Numeracy Day

Bullseye Maths & Luke Humphries hit the target to support National Numeracy Day

The Professional Darts Corporation’s award-winning Bullseye Maths programme has received overwhelming backing from schoolchildren who have participated in the numeracy scheme’s fun and interactive sessions alongside some of the sport’s biggest stars.

To coincide with 2024 National Numeracy Day on May 22, the PDC linked up with partner Moneybarn and charity National Numeracy with a special Bullseye Maths session at The O2 in London ahead of the Premier League Play-Offs, where children from Invicta Primary School met World Champion Luke Humphries and teenage sensation Luke Littler.

The special session saw the two darts superstars share some of their experiences around maths, before the pupils then enjoyed a special Bullseye Maths session promoting numeracy linked to the numbers-based sport as the latest school to take part in the popular scheme.

World number one Humphries said: "It was brilliant to welcome the kids down for the Bullseye Maths visit today. I loved maths at school and playing darts definitely helped me in my school days, my mental maths was always very good because of it. It’s great for kids to be able to learn using darts, as it will definitely help their memory to learn quick maths." 

Humphries and Littler both discussed their experiences with numeracy during a “My Maths Story” session, National Numeracy’s schools volunteering programme. “Big Number Natter” social media videos were also release to support the charity’s annual National Numeracy Day campaign.

National Numeracy Chief Executive Sam Sims said: "Darts is a wonderful way for children, and adults, to connect to numeracy. As the two Lukes have shown, you don’t get better at darts overnight and it’s the same with maths; it takes practice, patience and the right support, but we can all improve. We might not all become World Champions, but we can all feel confident to deal with the numbers in our daily lives, for sport, work, home and school. One simple step for adults is to try the National Numeracy Challenge."

Bullseye Maths was introduced in 2022 after studies found that numeracy levels amongst children had been affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alongside an online Bullseye Maths portal at the PDC website, popular in-school sessions have been developed and run by staff from Nottingham College’s Room 180 Academy to encourage maths learning through a combination of numeracy exercises and darts-based games.

The sessions have been running alongside some of the PDC’s biggest events and seen top stars - including former World Champions Michael Smith and Peter Wright, reigning World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall and stars including James Wade, Joe Cullen, Damon Heta and Stephen Bunting - visiting schools across the country or welcoming students to venues including Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Leeds’ First Direct Arena and the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.

The PDC’s aim is to engage children in numeracy in a different way at school alongside introducing the sport to a new generation - and Bullseye Maths received a Bronze Award in the “Best Sports Community or CSR Scheme - Other Sports” category at the prestigious Sports Business Awards in November 2023.

The proof of the impact Bullseye Maths has had on participating children is supported by the hugely positive results of a survey of over 200 pupils who gave their feedback before and after taking part in a session.

The survey found that 86% of schoolchildren found maths easier to learn when playing darts, while 83% said that playing darts made maths more interesting (compared to 58% who actively look forward to maths lessons).

In addition, the survey also found that:
• 94% of all respondents enjoyed their Bullseye Maths session
• 55% said that the session helped them to understand odd and even numbers
• 50% said that the session helped them with their two and three times tables
• 92% agreed that maths is a useful skill when playing darts
• 91% said that they would like to play darts again as part of their maths sessions - despite only 60% having previously played darts
• 64% would like to go to a live darts event after taking part in a session, while 44% had previously watch darts on TV.

Bullseye Maths is set to continue its growth throughout 2024 and beyond to encourage numeracy across all ages and engage a new generation in the sport who have been captivated by the emergence of new World Champion Luke Humphries and the fairy-tale rise of teenage talent Luke Littler, who reached the World Championship final aged just 16.

“People don’t realise the amount of maths involved in darts at any level and it’s brilliant to see such strong feedback from pupils who have enjoyed and engaged in their Bullseye Maths sessions since we introduced the scheme,” said PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter.

“Bullseye Maths has been hugely popular so far and been so well received wherever we’ve visited. The scheme also enjoyed great support from our players and partners and we’re working with them to continue its growth.

“The ability of players to add, multiply and subtract in milliseconds during matches is something which people don’t always recognise because of the brilliant accuracy of their throwing, but it’s an incredibly important aspect of the sport and we’re delighted to be able to showcase that through Bullseye Maths and encourage numeracy at all ages.”

The in-school sessions have been led by Gary Horsley from Nottingham College’s Room 180 Academy, who said: “It has been fantastic to work with children at schools across the country and show them that there are different ways of developing their confidence and skills in maths, whilst also learning about a new sport.

"It has been a privilege to have the support of some of the top world's darts players at in-school sessions and I look forward to working with the PDC and other partners to grow the scheme and extend the opportunities this exciting project can offer.

"We were all very proud to receive the Bronze Award at the 2023 Sports Business Awards, which is further reinforcement of the positive impact that Bullseye Maths is having."

Bullseye Maths was developed by the PDC in partnership with Soapbox London, Nottingham College’s Room 180 Academy, the Junior Darts Corporation, Maths On Toast, and GoDartsPro, whose interactive Mathlete game can be played at the PDC’s Bullseye Maths portal at, which also offers downloadable worksheets and videos with darts personalities discussing numeracy.

This year, National Numeracy Day lands n the day before the 2024 Premier League Darts Play-Offs. Vehicle finance company Moneybarn, part of Vanquis Banking Group, are a partner of the PDC and have been proud supporters of National Numeracy for seven years. Together, they aim to reach individuals with low number confidence up and down the UK.

Moneybarn Head of Marketing Tim Schwarz said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together the tremendous work that both National Numeracy and Bullseye Maths do to promote number confidence in people of all ages. By supporting people to develop skills in maths, especially in fun ways such as playing darts, we can help build confidence in using numbers in everyday life.

“I feel incredibly proud of the role we play, as part of Vanquis Banking Group, in caring about the importance of numeracy as a way to help individuals and communities better cope with increasing uncertainty and change.”

National Numeracy is an independent charity working to improve numeracy across the UK. Its National Numeracy Day campaign each May encourages adults and children to build their confidence and skills around numeracy. For more details, visit.

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