Sharlene Maru-Habib reckons she doesn't know how to spell Romania let alone know where it is.

But come October she'll have a fair idea.

Following a hugely successful weekend at the New Zealand Darts Championship in Motueka last week, Maru-Habib gained selection to represent her country.

During the five days of national competition, Maru-Habib was runner-up in the Ladies Open, winner of the Ladies Pairs and then went on to win the Ladies Singles on the last day of the tournament.


"It's all a bit surreal really," Maru-Habib said. "I'm not sure that it has sunk in yet."

She started playing darts in 1986, following in the footsteps of her mother and step-father who ran the local competition.

"It's without a doubt a family game. My parents play, my husband plays, my children play and I can't wait for my grandchildren to be able to play too.

"We play everything Thursday night at the War Memorial Hall between March and October."

In the lead-up to the World Championships, Maru-Habib said there was one thing she would not be doing and that is practising.

"I've never practised in my life," she said. "Darts is a mental game and all about hand-eye coordination, that's got me to where I am today and I won't be changing."

She said her New Zealand teammates who had previously been part of the national side were giving her a lot of tips for which she was grateful. "They'll probably be sick and tired of me by the time we leave.

"There's so much I don't know. I'm not sure if the international competition is run differently than the national one, I have no idea which countries take part and I need to find out where Romania is."


She said it was hard to believe darts was taking her around the world.

"I only ever wanted to go to Australia because my oldest son lives there. Now I'm off to the other side of the world - I think," she laughed.

Maru-Habib said up until this year, she had always been nervous before a competition. "I used to shake but now I'm just chilled before a game. I'm not sure how that happened but it's good it has."

The New Zealand team leaves for the Worlds on October 12.