22/05/2003

Paintballing set to colour Belfast

Ireland's leading premier paintball company Escarmouche has announced a sponsorship deal with leading drink brand Bacardi Breezer in advance of the sport’s first ever appearance in Northern Ireland.

Although Escarmouche is a Belfast-based company, paintballing has always taken place in Monaghan, due to strict firearms legislation in Northern Ireland.

Now, with sponsorship support in place, history will be made when a paintballing event will take place in Northern Ireland for the first time ever at the front of Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on June 21 and 22.

Commenting on the event Mark McAuley, who owns and runs Escarmouche, said: “Prior to 1993, had you mentioned the word 'paintball' to anyone in Northern Ireland, people would have had no idea what you were talking about. Now, ten years later, most people will not only know what paintball is, but will have played it, or know someone who has.

"Paintball is a very vibrant, colourful and exciting sport and I felt the best way to promote it was to collaborate with a premium brand that had those same characteristics."

Some 12 million people played paintball worldwide last year, making it the fastest growing sport on the planet. Now Mark McAuley is determined to bring it to Northern Ireland on a full time basis.

“We have worked very hard at Escarmouche to bring the game to the masses and to have laws that prevent it being played in Northern Ireland overturned.

“I believe that this is likely to happen in the near future as a review of the legislation is currently at an advanced stage," he concluded.

(MB)

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