On Tues we were really disappointed because our application for funding from the Singapore Sports Council rejected on grounds that Paintball "does not have a clearly defined sports component"
This is ironic because we do have a letter from the sports council recognising the Paintball Association and Paintball as a sport.
So what constitutes a "sport component"? I can argue that ballroom dancing is not a sport- its a "dance" but yet the Sports Council is throwing money at them and they get front page newspaper coverage.
Lets look at what we have to go through in paintball that has elements of "sport".
In paintball we have to run-dive-shoot. We have to think on our feet make decisions on the fly. We have to be fit although I am the exception to this rule. We have group streaching and warm-up sessions before every game to make sure we don't injure ourselves. We have to play, get along and work as a team. Now you tell me how much of this shit you get in ballroom dancing?
If you ask me why I think Paintball- Speedball is a sport.
You only have to look at the organisation and the tournaments. We have set rules- referees and properly organised tournaments and even leagues. Paintball is not just a once weekend get together and pick teams and have one or two games. There are a lot of serious players and serious teams out there. There is real competition and dedication to be the best.
The Red Sevens are special- we have to cross the border to play out game- we travel 650km round trip to KL just to practice. We spend 10 hours on the bus on weekends. So you can't say that we play paintball just for fun. There is a lot more to it.
Singapore (also) boleh
Where do we go from here? We can be sore and pissed off at the Singapore Sports Council for being narrow minded. Or we can move on and just get on with it. To be honest I never had much hope in the Sports Council because I have always thought that they have a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality and only want one when somebody else has one. Singapore had to wait 10 years before they also wanted a Formula 1 Grand Prix. I guess when paintball finally becomes mainstream in 10 years time- they will come knocking on our door.
In the meantime we have to just get on with it and find some money and sponsors and make the best of what we have. Being "the one and only Singaporean team" doesn't mean much to me when the whole country doesn't give a shit about who we are and what we're trying to do.
Maybe one day paintball will be in ESPN X Games and if they have it in the X Games Asia- we'll be there for sure. If I ever get asked if I'm proud to be the only team to represent Singapore- I'll be sure to quote the rejection letter and say "fuck no I don't play for Singapore- I play for the Red Sevens.