September 1, 2010

Ready, Aim, Paintball!

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Any person, any study. Our alma mater has drilled this into our heads like a drill sargent at a very expensive boot camp. Who knew when Ezra spoke those famous words, he really meant it- paintball included. Yes, Cornell has its very own Paintball Club. Enthusiasts of the game get together on weekends throughout the year to play. But, lucky for the rest of us, they aren’t opening fire on the Art’s Quad anytime soon.

All that paintballing isn’t cheap. Lucky for all university clubs, one of the advantages of forming an official club on campus is the funding. Forget the debates on owning a gun- Paintball Club President and Founder, David Ho (’11), backed by President Skorton, will be more than happy to provide you with a paintball gun. “It’s great to already have a club in place. It gets us official recognition and provides students with an outlet for the hobby,” David says.

David started the club in spring of 2008; actually more of a re- founding, since the club had existed several years ago before disappearing. With a popular resurgence of paintball passion, David got the club up and firing again.  “It’s a really awesome experience. We always head to Ithaca Paintball, about 10 minutes off campus in Freeville,” says David. “We go on Saturdays and Sundays and stay to play a few hours.”

While paintballing is not an uncommon hobby for many, David’s pastime was not love at first target. “My interest began because my brother and friends were always in to it. The first time I went they had to drag me, but I ended up absolutely loving it.” So if you don’t think you like to paintball, you may surprise yourself. You can’t deny some interest if you have read this far.

Gaming is another reason to latch on to this sport. “It’s almost like a real life video game,” as Vice President Arjun Pravin (’11) says. “You have to team up with your partners and out-strategize the other team.” For students who have experience playing, the Paintball Club at Cornell provides a great opportunity. “It’s great that there is already a club in place,” notes Pravin, and “students can join up with whoever is already there,” he says.

Ithaca Paintball provides an spectacular location for the club’s members. They also host special events. “We do a lot of different stuff than just regular weekend play,” says Ithaca Paintball Manager Nick Difasi. “We do big games, where we have one hundred plus people. We have role playing and different activities where we will make up a story line and get everyone involved.”But if the challenge of hundreds of people aiming paintball guns at you isn’t exactly your idea of fun, don’t worry. “There are opportunities for all levels,” says Difasi, “and really the paintball club is for everyone — beginners and experienced combined. There is always a good mix of everyone.” And Cornellians are definitely jumping on the chance.

The club now boasts a long list of members, many who have only played once or twice, but also a steady group of about fifteen.  At the beginning of the semester, they hold an informational meeting to “find people who share an interest and have them get to know the officers,” says David. If you think paintballing sounds like your new favorite stress-reliever, or your not sure but it might be, or if you just want to mix it up this year, get in on Paintball Club. It’s a fun spirited crowd. Just don’t get too friendly- these guys will take you out with red exterior enamel.

Original Author: Alice Cope