“I’ve been the Singapore team captain in the Paintball World Cup these past three years. In the last World Cup, we made it all the way to the quarter-finals, which is a very big achievement because we were playing against international teams and pro players. We won against India but lost to Turkey and America.
How did I become team captain? I’m not sure to be honest, but when I embark on something, I get very serious about it. I used to train two times a day. I’d train between 9 and 11 in the morning, and then I’ll drive to Johor Bahru to train again from about 1 to 5. Looking back, it was quite crazy.
I started playing paintball about five years ago. I was doing other sports like track and field and kayaking as well. I also played soccer for the SCDF, but there’s just something different about paintball. It’s a team sport that requires speed, agility, endurance and awareness; it’s got the whole package.
Currently, paintball has not yet been recognised as a national sport by the Singapore Sports Council. There are no subsidies, so it’s mostly been self-funded. We’ve been quite lucky because the School of Paintball and Red Dynasty have made it quite affordable for us to train at their fields.
My dream is to grow my team and raise the standard of competitive paintball in Singapore – that was why I started playing the sport in the first place. I also want to see it become more popular in Singapore; I think there’s definitely potential for it to grow really big.” – Zahid, 32
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