|DATE OF BIRTH||May 1972|
|VIEW ROB HECKMAN'S DART RANGE HERE|
Nickname: Dragon - My nickname came about when I first travelled to Asia early in my dart career with best friends David, Scotty and fellow Shot Pro Player Chris White. The Dragon represents power, wisdom, strength, good fortune and hidden knowledge. Through darts, I was able to find strength in my personal life during a difficult time in my early years; those times turned into good fortune with the birth of my first son Thomas. Since then, the name stuck with me, and the Dragon was born.
Hometown: Clayton, California
When it all started: I started playing darts while I was in the U.S. Army and stationed at Ft. Lewis Washington. It was December 1993, was a pretty difficult time in my life, as I was only 21 years old and my first wife and still good friend and mother to my firstborn, was in the hospital after going into cardiac arrest from Meningococcal Meningitis. I had gone out at the request of my father/brother in-law, dragging me away from the hospital after being there for three solid days. They took me out to have a beer at Oldies Pub in Tacoma and play some pool. The bar had a dart tournament going on at the same time, so my brother in-law, who was tired of me beating him in pool LOL, said we should play some darts. They just happened to need two more players for a full field, and we signed up. The rest is history. I won my first ever dart tournament after not even knowing how to play and a cool $80 in my pocket. I thought, “Hell, this is easy” and as a young enlisted soldier, every penny extra was welcomed!
Twenty-six years later, I still enjoy the sport, the atmosphere and most of all, all the incredible friends I’ve had the fortune to meet around the world. Through darts, I was able to also share my love of the sport with others around the world, helping to promote youth events in Asia, USA and by being part of some fantastic charities and incredible causes to help our darts community. Together with other industry friends, we formed “IDART”, which stood for “International Disaster Relief Team”. IDART was created after the deadly tsunami struck Sendai Japan, where many of our fellow dart players were directly affected. We raised $15,000 through the efforts of many World-renowned players and radio personnel in a 24 hour period. After our efforts, I was able to fly to Yokohama Japan and present the donation to our fellow friends at one of the largest barrels sponsored joint event called “Barrels”.
Winning was always and still is exciting as my very first chance meeting back in 1993! But my biggest and most memorable contributions still come from helping our sport advance. It so happened that PUMA Darts sponsored the first-ever Shanghai International Sports Open in 2009. I was given the honour of representing PUMA Darts, along with fellow teammates Chris White and Warren Parry. This was the first time that the Chinese government, Beijing Sports Authority and Shanghai Sports Authority invited international dart professionals to participate in this inaugural event. Little did we know, our presence would be felt to this very day. We met with the local youth sports program, which was in one elementary school at the time. We provided lessons, advice and suggestions in hopes to help build the sport in China. Today, there are over 13 schools that have introduced Darts into their curriculum! We were able to meet the Chinese Olympic Committee members, introduce darts at a higher level of competition and build our youth players all in one trip.
PUMA Darts were my first official professional sponsors in 2008. Peter McCormick had faith in me as a player and a representative of his brand. After a 10-year hiatus from the PUMA and now the Shot Darts family, it is such a pleasure to be able to “come back home” to where it all started for me as a professional. The past decade away has taught me a lot in the marketing and business world, from spearheading the insertion of DARTSLIVE systems into North America as the Chief Operating Officer to helping players get sponsorships from numerous companies. Peter and I kept our friendship even after I moved on from his team. Coming back means the world to me on a personal level and happy to be a brand representative once again!
- International Dart Federation (IDF) Recognized Ambassador
- 3x Medalist World Soft Darts Singles Champion
- Bullshooter World Soft Darts Championship Mixed Doubles Champion
- Team USA Member Soft Darts (Medalist, Arachnid, Asia Darts Association, Dartslive)
- La Rochelle France International Team Champions Soft Darts
- Biltmore Classic 501 & Cricket Singles Champion Steel Darts
- Colorado Open Cricket Singles Champion & MVP Steel Darts
- Camellia Classic Cricket Singles Champion Steel Darts
- Camellia Classic Cricket & 501 Doubles Champion Steel Darts
- Las Vegas Open Mixed Doubles Champion Steel Darts