Katie Sheldon stars in documentary: Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A champion darts player, who is quickly rising through the ranks of junior darts competitions, is the subject of a new documentary called ‘Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches’ - named after the distance between a darts player and a dart board.

Katie Sheldon (17), a student in Old Bawn Community School in Tallaght, has been playing darts since she was child, and her interest in the sport has never waned.

Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches Katie throwing 1

Katie Sheldon

'Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches’ centres on Katie and her teammates on the Irish team preparing for and competing in the Junior Darts World Cup in Gibraltar in 2019, where they made it to the quarter finals.

Since that competition, Katie has become a National Singles champion, an All-Ireland champion and a World Singles champion.

Katie took some time out to tell her local newspaper about her continued success with darts, her hope that more women will take up the sport, and she explained what it was like to be filmed for the documentary.

How did your interest in darts come about?

It came from watching darts on TV with my dad, and my grandad had a dart board out the back.

You competed in your first darts competition when you were 11, what was that experience like?

It was exciting, and the standard was unbelievable for a youth competition.

You've quickly risen through the ranks since your first competition, and before the pandemic, you regularly took part in competitions in England. What is the atmosphere like at those competitions, and what do you enjoy most about competing in them?

The atmosphere is electric and very loud, as everyone is cheering on each other. The thing I enjoy most is when I play well and I’m able to compete against other international players.

Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches Katie Portrait Serious 1

Katie Sheldon

How do online darts competitions compare to in-person ones?

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of online darts as it’s completely different. Although it’s good practice, it’s not the same.

Though darts is typically a male-dominated sport, this seems to be changing – particularly considering the success of Fallon Sherrock. Would you like to see more women playing darts?

Yes of course, as women can compete on the world stage showing that they are equally as good.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about playing darts?

People think it’s a pub game and that it’s easy, when really it takes a huge amount of dedication and concentration to compete at a high level.

What was it like to be filmed for the 'Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches' documentary?

It was a great experience, and a great opportunity to take part in such an amazing and professional environment. I'd never done anything like that before, it was really enjoyable. I’ve already seen the documentary, and it’s nice to see some great moments in darts captured on film. It was a great job by the lads.

Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches Poster 1

What impact do you hope the documentary will have on viewers?

I want it to show that anything is possible when you work hard at something you love, and I hope that more girls will be influenced to take up darts.

‘Seven Feet Nine and a Quarter Inches’, a film by Peter O’Brien and presented by Motherland, will be screened online from March 3 to March 14 at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

Tickets for the screenings are available at HERE.

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