Its bad... its very bad. No... its very very very bad. I shall named this blog as "very very disappointing" for the fact that I wasnt really happy about something that was wrote about paintball development in Singapore. Well, everyone who blogs has his/her share of their views so I will not judge anyone, I respect your views and I am glad that some of the best suggestions were brought up by you through local forum, websites and blogs about how you think Singapore paintball should grow. Living in a liberal community, we have our rights to shoot off. So here's my piece...and of course disclaimer before some ignorant people starts shooting away..."shooting away"... how irony? And its funny cos everytime I write about a "very very disappointing" piece, I have to go like...."Okay, its not about my team, its not about the operations that I run, its not about the sport association that I am in" BUT all about how I feel as an individual who is passionate about paintball. But short of the dough to have my ways and do the things I want.
It is "very very disappointing" because after trying my best to develop and help tournament paintball grow in Singapore, I have been classed as not improving, surely not good enough for everyone. If there is one thing that is not improving...its not the development but the buy in. Surely, we did not convince all and we did not get the support from all. In fact, we were so bad in convincing that we were banned and slammed. Oh surely... it helps to say that its not my fault for trying to promote speedball... BUT, yes, there's always a big BUT. Of course, we all know that people make some money and pump some money into developing the business better... but to what extend? Losing money? Already we are running red doing paintball leagues. You might be thinking its bullshit, why do you still do it when you are losing money? Well, people dont shoot much with mech (everyone shoots emarkers up North during tournament), we have less than 15 teams every leg (an average tournament up North has more than 30 teams), there are thousands of people playing paintball up North (we have a community of less than 300).
Okay, to set the record straight. I feel that comments like these are not good for the game. Come on... "support your local field". Hey, I didnt come up with this... if you have been reading paintball magazines long enough, they always have this "support your local field" for several reasons, no business no paintball, yes, it a game that we all love but still its a business, look at how F1 has grown...to me the F1 is a business, surely its a sport but no business no sport, its simple. And to have business, you need support and where do we get these support? From the people who pay for the business operation. I can tell this to my grandma and I think she can understand this simple formula too. No business = No paintball. If I am a rich man, then the story is different. Its the same for everyone. I like to play in tournament with a mimimum budget, if its free its even better (heard of teams paying for people to play in their team and then ended up to complain about those non-paying players? So how to sustain?)...I like to be able to train without burning a hole, I like to improve in my skills, I want to use better equipment, I want good customer service, I want good referees, I want a good organization, I want to shoot e-markers, I want big fields, I want to play 5 on 5, I want this I want that...
Okay, let's examine this closely... firstly, there are a group that dont play in Singapore, so regular or not, they dont fit the bill as a regular. Yes, they play in the local league but that's maybe like 4 times a year, not good enough to be call a regular. We do have regulars and its surely NOT them... regulars are people who support local development and grow to play at higher divisions when their time is riped, these regulars head up North to play and these people understand the limitations, red tapes and restrictions in Singapore and for them to improve in their game, the only choice is to go North. Regulars... I respect you. But dont just end there, bring back what you have learnt and contribute back to the local community. And I dont mean slamming and comparing... we can never be the best in the world and that's life...oh yes, perhaps the best example is downunder... the country is one with the most affected H1N1 cases today and we all know how strict the Aussies are with quarantines, so its surprising. I am going off topic here anyway. But seriously this is what people shouldnt do... find newly formed teams in the forum, offer coaching services but instead of getting them to improve in their skills and going through fundamentals and in turn introducing more people to play this game the proper way, they set them up with the idea of playing in places which sells cheaper paintballs along with the tagline... "come and see what real paintball is". Its surely not helping... why? Simple, we will never grow in numbers. Want to see the real paintball? Go USPL, go Millenium, go COFA... those are real paintball.
Already off my head, I can list a few Singapore based teams who play competitively in Malaysia but not in Singapore. How to grow? How to develop? If we look at how our neighbours got started...things were tough back then too. But as more and more people play the game, certain restrictions were laxed. Ask them how many years of mech were they playing before the first emarker arrived? How much did they charge for a box of paintball back then? How many players were playing? How many tournament players were there? I have said this many many times, it just takes time.
Well, as far as I am concerned... paintball is improving. People are more aware about the sport, mostly still think paintball as jungle games but its better than nothing, we can change that misconception depending on the interest. I have known the most scenario player in Singapore and yes you can see him enjoying himself playing the scenario game. He understand that its hard to have forested game in Singapore so he is planning trips for interested Singaporeans. He works what is best for him. He didnt slam no one, he didnt slam peoples business, he didnt say "very very disappointing things". He just enjoy the game and develop how he think scenario paintball can be best developed. Okay enough is enough, we have gone through this so many times that I am really sick thinking about it. Since I have been slammed. Maybe its time I start my very own blackbook and start blacklisting people who pretentiously support local paintball but slammed local field operators. No discounts, no specials, no give face (oh...someone might need to explain this to non-Singaporeans). Yes, its expensive playing paintball in Singapore, its cheaper to play in the North... its a fact. The truth is... everything is more expensive down South. Ever heard of Singaporeans going North to buy mik powder? I dont see anyone complaining to NTUC about their price. Even Australia is more expensive than Singapore. Try Congo... do they have paintball there? Even if they do... I am sure its damn expensive. Milk powder too.
Do I need to justify what has been done for this sport in Singapore? I think we all have eyes to see.
Want to help? I guess not... but of course if there is anyone who is so adamant about developing paintball in Singapore. Dont focus on the cost. Its not the cost. Its the red tape restricting the access of having markers by your bedside. Perhaps, we can get someone with a good command of english to write letters/petitions to all the MPs, to Vivian, to Ser Luck, to Jin Teik, to Nathan, to Hsien Loong, to someone who calls the shot. Until then, paintball can never be considered as reaching its full potential. So anyone with good "Ang Moh"? Ang Moh?
Give me a break will you!