Woman Withdraws From Darts Tournament After Being Matched With A Transwoman: ‘I’ve Thought This Is Wrong Since Day One’

by Gee NY
Deta Hedman a three-time WDF World Championship finalist and a veteran of the sport since the 1980s CREDIT: Getty Images/Bryn Lennon

A British darts player’s decision to forfeit a tournament match against a transgender opponent has reignited discussions about inclusion and fairness in women’s sports.

Deta Hedman, 64, opted out of a quarter-final clash against Noa-Lynn van Leuven at the Denmark Open last week, citing concerns about competing against a transgender athlete.

Hedman has been vocal in her call for sports governing bodies like the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the World Darts Federation (WDF) to implement stricter regulations regarding transgender participation in women’s events.

She expressed her stance on social media, where she explained her reluctance to compete against individuals assigned male at birth in women’s tournaments.

Support for Hedman’s decision has been forthcoming, with Lynne Pinches, another darts player, expressing solidarity with her stand.

Hedman, a veteran of the sport with an illustrious career spanning decades, has previously voiced her reservations about transgender inclusion in women’s darts.

Last year, she articulated her concerns, stating:

“I have thought this is wrong since day one… it’s just my belief and many other women players’ belief that trans shouldn’t be in women’s ranked events.”

The Transwoman, Van Leuven, who transitioned in 2022, has been making waves in the women’s darts circuit, securing victories in prestigious tournaments.

Noa-Lynn van Leuven won two tournaments in March – the PDC Women’s Series in Wigan and a PDC Tour event in Hildesheim, Germany CREDIT: Shutterstock /Shane Healey.

Reflecting on her journey, van Leuven shared with Sky Sports:

“I transitioned before going through a lot of meetings with a psychologist. I tried to enjoy life as much as possible.”

The debate sparked by Hedman’s withdrawal adds to the ongoing dialogue surrounding transgender rights, fairness in competition, and the need for inclusive policies in sports.

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