Wednesday, 7 September 2011


For many of the Bobcats who attended, it was their first time paintballing – and they were in for a treat! 
Chris & Debbie

The Bassetts Pole National Paintballing Field, near Sutton Coldfield, is one of the largest paintballing venues in the UK, with over 200 acres of playing zones ranging from jungle warfare and alien invasions to Wild West shootouts and diamond smuggling.  Their unique and realistic zones include trenches, villages, streams, bridges, temples, guard towers, embassies and vehicles and they have an incredible paintball arsenal – including heavy gunners, snipers, explosives etc.
Quentin, Ross, Justin, Debbie, Mike & Chris

Debbie, Mike, Reinout, Jocelyn, Hiram, Trent, Ross, Quentin, Chris, Justin and Kate arrived at the venue at 9am where they signed their lives away (don’t worry – only disclaimer forms) and in return were given a mask, camouflage jumpsuits and a gun.  We were assigned to Delta squadron, which consisted of approximately 50 people.  After a short and nerve-racking debrief (during which Debbie was warned about friendly fire) we loaded up with ammo and were led into the first arena. 
Trent, Ross, Quentin, Hiram & Jocelyn
Justin, Chris, Debbie & Reinout

Unfortunately due to the amount of people on the team the Bobcats instantly became separated – Quentin ran down the centre; Kate, Trent and Ross took the left side and the newbies defended the flag.  Needless to say the Bobcats (and the rest of the green team) were victorious! Following the game, it was encouraging to see that everyone was in high-spirits and pumped up on adrenalin. 
Reinout, Hiram, Trent, Ross, Justin, Debbie & Mike

The following game was in the Trench zone – one of the smallest arenas in the park.  This had limited cover and a number of Bobcats were picked off.  Again Kate, Trent, Ross and Quentin charged forward – but this time they were followed by Hiram, Justin and Mike.  After the game Reinout asked Kate where her ‘killer’ instinct came from and that he would not like to cross her path in the following game.  However, in the subsequent games he found out and became a formidable force in his own right – shooting Quentin in the last game at close range. 
Kate, Mike, Reinout, Quentin, Jocelyn, Hiram, Justin
Chris, Trent & Ross

After a quick pause to drink water and cool down (it was boiling in those suits) we were back in the field.  However, while waiting to enter the arena Mike was checking his gun and accidently fired – straight into the back of Debbie –at point blank range.  I suspect he is going to suffer for that for a long time!
The Mess

The games continued – everyone was hit at least once, but due to the thrill and adrenaline nobody seemed to mind.  In fact one of the highlights of the day is to compare bruises!  The best arenas we played in were the Temple of Doom and Tombstone.

In the third game, Kate decided she would disobey the team captain’s orders and conduct some of her own sniper, guerrilla warfare.  She snuck down the left side, climbing under and over thick branches until she came to a path, which led directly into the camp of the other team.  No-one knew she was there and she had a clear view of six enemy targets.  She stood in the open and picked them all off before any of them figured out where the firing was coming from.  Absolutely exhilarated she entered the next game – only to be shot by friendly fire (not Debbie).
Kate & Quentin

Following a quick lunch, the games continued into the afternoon.  Everyone became more and more adventurous throughout the day and in the brief breaks in between battle scars were examined and tales of heroism were passed around.  At 4pm it was time for the big showdown.  This involved every squadron (approximately 160 people) in the smallest arena.  The game was to last 10 minutes; the first of which you shot the other team, the latter you shot anyone.  In this game it didn’t matter if you were shot – you continued playing until you ran out of bullets.  Kate and Chris made a pack and ran to the centre of the arena, which contained lots of barricades that would defended them from the teams to the north and south.  Although they had to undertake a kamikaze attitude to get there – Kate was shot in the head four times and subsequently had a mild concussion – they were able to defend their post without too much trouble. 
Kate & Debbie

Overall the day was a huge success.  Everyone had a fantastic time and will no doubt be talking about it for a while to come.  It has been agreed that there should be another paintballing day in a couple of months so watch this space. 

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