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Darts Sponsorship

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the British Darts Organisation about alternative sources of sponsorship; and if she will make a statement. [113922]

The Government are aware of the extent to which the British Darts Organisation is reliant on tobacco sponsorship and of the challenge it faces in finding alternative sponsors.I met Olly Croft, Managing Director of the British Darts Organisation, on 9 April to discuss sponsorship issues and to assure him of the Government's commitment to helping those sports affected by the tobacco sponsorship ban. It has always been the Government's aim to ensure that such sports do not suffer unduly during the transition away from tobacco sponsorship.It was agreed at the meeting that the British Darts Organisation would write to me outlining the ways that they believe the Department can best assist them in their search for alternative sponsorship. I await Mr. Croft's letter.