Darts star Joe Cullen hits the bullseye with pupils from Leeds' Park Spring Primary School - and looks ahead to Premier League homecoming at First Direct Arena

Pupils from Park Spring Primary School, in Leeds, had a maths lesson with a difference, alongside Yorkshire’s top darts player Joe Cullen.
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The Bradford marksman will be in action on Thursday when the Cazoo Premier League visit’s Leeds’ First Direct Arena.

And he warmed up by joining Park Spring youngsters, aged nine to 11, in a Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Bullseye Maths session at the venue on Wednesday.

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The PDC launched Bullseye Maths earlier this year as an initiative to encourage maths development in Key Stage 2 children, with in-school sessions accompanied by an online portal at pdc.tv/maths.

Joe Cullen with Park Spring pupils during their Bullseye Maths session.Joe Cullen with Park Spring pupils during their Bullseye Maths session.
Joe Cullen with Park Spring pupils during their Bullseye Maths session.

The hour-long Bullseye Maths sessions, led by Gary Horsley from Nottingham College's Room 180 Academy, see children introduced to darts and provide an innovative way of enhancing their numeracy skills while playing the sport.

"The kids were superb and it's a good way to learn maths," Cullen said.

"You're seeing a lot of kids now getting into darts and learning to play and, especially at this age, it's great for the kids to be able to make learning more fun.

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"Maths came pretty naturally to me, but it's not that way for everyone.

Joe Cullen, right, with Gary Horsley from Nottingham College's Room 180 Academy and Park Spring Primary School pupils during their Bullseye maths lesson.Joe Cullen, right, with Gary Horsley from Nottingham College's Room 180 Academy and Park Spring Primary School pupils during their Bullseye maths lesson.
Joe Cullen, right, with Gary Horsley from Nottingham College's Room 180 Academy and Park Spring Primary School pupils during their Bullseye maths lesson.

“Darts is a great sport for kids to learn maths and I'm seeing that now with my own children."

Catherine Houghton, early years leader at Park Spring Primary School, said: "This has been a really fun way for the children to learn maths.

"It has given them experience about another sport and they got to meet a sports star, as well as enjoying the Bullseye Maths session.

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"Experiences like this help to raise children’s aspirations for the future as well as improving their maths skills and love of learning."

Joe Cullen. Picture by PDC.Joe Cullen. Picture by PDC.
Joe Cullen. Picture by PDC.

The PDC's online portal at includes introduction videos from top PDC players, including Cullen, Michael Smith and Gary Anderson, referees Russ Bray and Kirk Bevins and Sky Sports presenter Laura Woods, as well as the interactive Mathlete darts game and downloadable worksheets for students.

Meanwhile, Cullen will face Jonny Clayton in tonight’s first round.

A new Premier League format this year sees the eight players compete in weekly knockout rounds leading to a final at each event.

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Cullen won the mini-tournament when it visited Rotterdam last month and is relishing being on home ground on Thursday.

"I can't wait," he said. "This is my first time playing in Leeds and I think it will look huge when it's full.

"It's a different layout to a lot of the arenas we play in, it's more like a theatre, and the atmosphere should be fantastic.

"It's an amazing arena and I've been looking forward to this night more than any other since I got into the Premier League.

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"I'm proud to be from Yorkshire and the people up here love their sport, so hopefully the crowd will be behind me.”

Cullen added: "It's an exciting time and I'm loving being part of the Premier League - it's nights like this that you want to be involved in.

"It's going well so far, the new format has been really good and it was fantastic to win in Rotterdam. Hopefully I can get another win in Leeds."

Former world champion Gary Anderson has withdrawn from the Leeds event after testing positive for Covid, so his scheduled opponent Michael van Gerwen is awarded a 6-0 win and goes through to face either Peter Wright or Michael Smith in the semi-finals.

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The winner of Cullen’s tie against Clayton will take on either James Wade or Gerwen Price for a place in the final.

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