Enterprise Paintball, a new recreational sport, hits the city

These guys are bang on target. They are planning to paint the city red… or any other colour… if the city is game to enough to try their hand at a new sport called Paintball.

Paintball? It is a sport that is played in teams or individually in which you defeat ‘opponent(s)’ by ‘shooting’ them down with a pellet. You have a ‘war zone’, with the warring factions hiding behind artificial bunkers [or even natural terrain], dodging the ‘bullets’, which are actually capsules containing coloured, washable vegetable oil with gelatine shells outside. It thus blends action, adventure, team work and strategy.

It is being brought to the city by Paintball Trivandrum, the first initiative of XtremE SportZ, a company formed by a group of youngsters. In the group are three brothers, David Andrew John, Dennis Andrew John and Davis Andrew John, David’s wife Nisha Shaji, and their friends, Sibu Isaac Thomas, Farhan A. and Mehsal S.

“There is almost nothing for the youth in the city when it comes to fun and recreation. Instead of waiting for somebody else to do it, we wanted to do something from our side,” says David, CEO of the company. The company has imported the equipment, paintballs, masks, inflatable bunkers and all that is needed for the game from the United States.

The group has identified two areas, in Kovalam and Shanghumugham, to set up the war zone where the teams will fight it out. The gaming arenas should be operational within a few weeks. “The location is easily accessible, but is away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” says Sibu, who is into business development. Besides individuals, groups can have a go at the game as part of their regular outings, birthday parties, school events, engagement and wedding functions, parties, meetings…

Groups can come to the arena and play the game. Or else, Paintball members can create the war zone where the event is being held, provided there is enough space. “As for schools, we conduct the competition only for classes X and above and that too only with the permission of parents. Usually, it is meant for the ages 18 and above. And for younger kids we hold target shooting,” say Sibu and Davis. At the outset, the group makes it very clear that it is everybody’s game. “Anybody can play it, be it a man or a woman,” asserts Sibu.

Nowadays, such games play a predominant role in corporate sector, the team members claim. “The game strategy is such that it helps to work on discipline, leadership qualities, self-esteem and team work. Therefore it has become an integral part of corporate training programmes,” says Sibu. In fact, the group is planning an exclusive paintball league for companies in Technopark.

Depending on the success of the venture, XtremE SportZ will bring in other sporting/recreational activities to the city. “That includes artificial rock climbing, zorbing (where you roll downhill inside an orb, usually made of transparent plastic) and water ball (you walk over water while inside a large inflatable sphere). We are also planning to bring in bungee jumping, at another location,” says David.

Contact: 9746446300 or 9995244149. Or log on to www.facebook.com/PaintballTrivandrum.

Name of the game

The first recreational paintball game was played in the U.S. by 12 friends in 1981. Now it is played as a recreational sport in over 200 countries and a professional sport in nearly 50 countries. In India, professional paintball began in 2005 when Paintball Co. was set up with the help of Paintball Asia League Series. The first paintball gaming arena in the country came at Damdama, Gurgaon – Haryana. Gaming arenas have since been developed in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Lucknow, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Bangalore. Paintball Authority of India is the regulatory body.

All in the game

It can be played indoor or on outdoor fields with natural or artificial terrain. Game types vary, depending on which the duration also varies. Safety devices include masks or goggles, elbow and knee pads, and gloves.

On your mark

The first major tournament of Paintball Trivandrum is on January 17 and 18 at ‘Ascensio’, a series of inter-collegiate competitions organised by All Saints College as part of its golden jubilee celebrations. Winners walk away with cash prizes.