Photo Troy Baker D8833-26

Sharlene Maru-Habib is heading to Romania in October to compete for the New Zealand team in the world darts championships.

DARTS player Sharlene Maru-Habib says she never trains.

But the Whakatane Darts Association secretary for the past 20 years still throws well enough to gain a place in the New Zealand darts team to compete at the world championships in Romania in October.

Recently returned from this year’s national championships in Motueka, where she won both the singles and pairs titles and came runner-up in the open singles, Maru-Habib said she has never felt the need to train.

“If you’ve got your eye and hand in, you don’t really need to train,” she said. “That’s my way of thinking.”

However, she plays every Thursday night in Whakatane and every fortnight in Rotorua and Kawerau in various competitions.

She has been playing on and off for about 30 years.

CHAMP: After two championship wins this year, Sharlene Maru-Habib is off to Romania for the World Darts championships in October. Photo Troy Baker D8833-16

“My mother and stepfather were coaches back in 1986 when I started, and I’ve played most of the time apart from taking time out to have my kids.”

She has competed at the nationals for the past four years after setting some goals to reach the top of her sport.

“I was picked for the (national tournament) B team, then they made me captain the next year and then I had a goal to make the A team.

“Got that, and my goal this year was just to win a title.”

For two years in a row she has won the New Zealand Aotearoa Maori darts tournament, her only national title prior to this year.

It’s a family affair for Maru-Habib, whose mum, husband and children are all prominent in the Whakatane association.

“Oh, it’s massive, it’s an awesome achievement,” her brother Charlie Maru says.

“For me, it’s just a bit of validation really and years of how much commitment she’s put into it, not only for seniors you know, she’s been an advocate for the junior darts. She follows the junior darts and raises money for the junior darts.”

Manu-Habib will join former Whakatane player Tina Osborne, who now plays for Auckland’s West City club and who will be attending her second world championship.

The New Zealand team comprises four women and four men players, as well as two managers. They leave for Romania on October 12.

Until that time, she says she will take a bit of a rest after what has been a long week of competition.