Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Unsung Heroes - A tribute to the Singapore Paintball Series Referees

Formed in 2010, the Singapore Paintball Series (SPS) Referees have been the strong pillar of rules and regulations in Singapore. Unknown to others, since the formation of the SPS Referees, several referees from the SPS Referees have been travelling around the Asia region to officiate in regional paintball tournaments with the primary purpose of enhancing their skills of officiating and also to further gain invaluable refereeing experiences from referees across the globe.

In search of the reasons behind their passion to marshal and to upkeep the law and order in paintball games remains a mystery to others. One of the toughest and grueling job in any sports where decisions and judgements are made in split seconds, we pay a tribute to these guardian angels who continue to keep the game fair and just for many paintball events around the region. Considering the 100 of paintball games that they have to go through in a single day and the unbearable physical pain that they have to endure at the end of the tournament, today, we single out a few of our most experienced local SPS referees and let our heroes sing the fat lady's song!

Muhammad Azhar is the appointed Head Referee of the Singapore Paintball Series and the organizer of the Singapore Paintball Series Referees. Azhar's interest in paintball started in the woods where he is an avid participant of scenario woodsball game. His first refereeing stint was in Kedah when he officiated in the Kedah Sultan Cup in 2010. Since then, Azhar has officiated in several paintball tournament such as the Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit, the Singapore Paintball Series and more significantly, the World Cup Asia 2010 and the India Open Invitational held in Bangalore in 2011. "Acid" as he is named in the paintball community, Azhar continue to better himself as a paintball referee by organizing the recent SPS Referee Level 1 Certification as a course instructor.

Idi Bakhtiar B Md D'zokere started his paintball interest as a player participating in the Red Dynasty Rookie Challenge. His team, Hitmen Inc took part in the tournament and had a decent outing but never did Idi knew that he has a higher calling in the sport of paintball. It wasn't long that his team was disbanded due to commitment issues but that did not stop Idi from getting involved in the game. He took on the challenge to attend the first Singapore AsiaRef Certification and was officiating in the Singapore Paintball Series 2010. His enthusiasm in refereeing spur him on to better his refereeing knowledge as he took on the journey to officiate in the World Cup Asia 2010. Working as a prison officer for 10 years, Idi has vast knowledge in the area of leadership and discipline which he put to good use in refereeing. He recently returned to Singapore after officiating in the PALS Philippines United Paintballers Philippine International Championship 2011.

Shahirah Alqadri was part of the now defunct team Extreme Estrogen, Singapore's first female team. Since her acquaintance with paintball, Shahirah has always been a devotee for paintball and she still is... Shahirah is the classic example of a paintball player who wants to better herself in the game. While in love with the sport, she also took time off to officiate in paintball tournaments with the belief that a good paintball player should also understand the rules within the game. She is currently part of Team SKIN which participates in the Division 3 category of the Malaysia National Paintball League. She draws the line clearly for her roles as a player and a referee as Shahirah officiates in the Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit and participate in the former. Yeah... don't judge her by her petite physical frame... Be warned!

All photos belong to rightful owner.