KUALA LUMPUR – It’s “ready, steady, shoot!” as the Malaysian Paintball Official Circuit (MPOC) starts off with a bang for the 2011 season at the Padang Bukit Ekspo in UPM, Serdang.
Over 70 teams have signed up for their dose of adrenaline, excitement, and paint in the prestigious league organized by PALS Event, marking a historic first for the event, and requiring the addition of a third paintball field to the standard two per event.
GOODIES FOR ALL
“Our registration fees are one of the lowest in the industry, but we decided to offer teams free registration anyway to start the season,” says Allan Phang, PALS Assistant Tournament Director. “This is in line with our goals of making paintball more affordable for everyone – a necessary step as paintball heads towards mainstream sport status.”
Normally, registration for the league ranges from RM250 to RM650, depending on the Division that the team is registering for, and teams usually number between 40 to 50. In a bid to support all facets of the industry, PALS is also offering free booth space to paintball field owners so that they can promote their respective fields.
GROWING THE GRASSROOTS
The majority of teams are in Division 4, which is the rookie division for newcomers to the sport, an indication of the freshness and popularity of the sport.
PALS Event places a lot of importance on growing the paintball community at a grassroot level, providing full marker sets for Division 4 players to encourage youths to participate.
This is in line with their goal of working together with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to promote the sport.
Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery bin Cheek paid a recent visit to the international paintball World Cup Asia 2010, also organized by PALS Event, and was duly impressed, especially with paintball’s parallel growth as both a sport and an industry.
This puts paintball in line with the government’s recent declaration of 2011 as the Sports Industry Year to boost the development of the sports sector in the country.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2011
Changes to the MPOC this year include new venues outside Kuala Lumpur for two of the league’s 5 legs. The second leg of the MPOC will be hosted in Melaka, while the third leg will be hosted in Kedah.
The final leg of the league will be held in Putrajaya, in line with the government’s plan to attract more youths to the administrative capital, ultimately making Putrajaya a youth hub.
The league plans to work even more closely with the government on future projects, and also to gain more sponsorships from the corporate sector, including airlines such as Air Asia. During a visit to the World Cup Asia 2010, airline mogul Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes promised to look into adopting paintball as the official sport for Air Asia.
Those who are interested in knowing more about the sport or supporting their favourite teams, are encouraged to come by the field this weekend.