11th December 2009 at 00:00
Target practice, named and shamed?

Target practice

Speaking recently to our Chief Inspector for Things You Thought You'd Never See, FErret was intrigued to hear of the establishment of the UK's first professional Darts Academy.

Based in Stockport College's Academy of Sport, the academy offers top- flight coaching combined with an academic education for 16 to 19-year-olds in partnership with the Professional Darts Corporation and equipment company Unicorn.

Gracing last week's launch were darts professionals Colin "the Wizard" Osborne and Wes "`Av it" Newton.

Proud manager of the Academy of Sport, Steve "The Boss" (ok, FErret made up that nickname) Mort said that the Darts Academy combined full-time education with professional coaching.

However, FErret feels a certain sense of nostalgia to think that, in these professional and health conscious times, the Stockport students will not get a grounding in the once-familiar art that allowed some old-school players to sink industrial quantities of lager and still hit 180 at will.

Named and shamed?

The question "What's in a name?" has always intrigued FErret. Like those people who name their unwitting children after everyone on both sides of the family for as long as anyone can remember so as not to offend anyone.

Take, for instance, the new name for the College of North East London, or CONEL for short. Following its merger with Enfield College earlier this year, CONEL has been reborn with the unwieldy title The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.

Unfortunately, the acronym is CHENEL, which sounds like a type of perfume you might buy down the market.

Haringey and Enfield will be glad of their name check but what does this trend mean for a merger-prone sector? Will future college names read like cross-country rail routes? It is to be hoped not, but if they do then all FErret would say is beware the acronym.

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