By Mark Tambini

Saturday morning, 7am. Looking out my window at the torrential downpour the last thing I wanted to do was get up. Then it dawned on me that not only did I have to get up but I had to run around in the woods with a gun in my hand shooting and shouting surrender like a maniac! It was, of course, the AVC paintball day.

The 20-strong group met at Task Force in Cowbridge at 9am and after being kitted out with army overalls, goggles and paint pellets were given a very strict safety briefing before any games started.

We were split into the following teams:

Green Team
Paola Moruzzi
Sandro Carpanini
Paolo Balestrazzi
Ollie Bright
Daniel Sidoli
Paul Tambini
Louise Tambini
Paolo Rossi
Christian Servini
Romeo Basini

Yellow Team
Gerard Opel
Mark Tambini
Gianluigi Fecci
Franco Tambini
Gianni Illari
Delucia Sidoli
Ugo Illarri
Paula Williams
Paul Pelopida
Aldo Bacchetta

There were 6 games in total, each one with a different objective but generally involving reaching the opposition’s base and obtaining an object of some sort. The rain was so heavy that it was often impossible to see for more than 5 yards but despite this the teams displayed extreme bravery and fought gallantly.

The games had their comic moments such as when one member of the green team tumbled helplessly out of bounds down a steep banking, desperately grabbing branches to stop himself. Several soldiers lost their footing, slipped and slid along the muddy surface. All happening of course during the heat of battle! I made a schoolboy error of attempting to clear my rain-drenched lenses by wiping them with a mud-caked arm. I couldn’t see anything for the rest of the game despite attempting to clean them with leaves and as a result died a horrible death!

The scores were tied at 20 points each before we entered the final game. The marshals announced a new rule, “UNLIMITED LIVES!” This meant that unlike the past games, where once shot you were out of the game, all that was asked was for you to return to your base and by doing so were then deemed “active” once more. The game descended into a bloodbath with both teams dispatching round after round of paintballs at each other and yes, it was as painful as it sounds!

Despite repeatedly shouting surrender to 2 members of the green team (as I was too close to shoot them) they proceeded to annihilate me with several million bullets whilst continuing into our base to destroy the bomb. The greens claimed victory but that seems questionable. If you ask me it was a draw.

It was a great day and was enjoyed by all, despite the horrendously wet weather! It also proved a success in raising money for the AVC. I hope to organise another paintball day but will try to do so on Sunday so that those who couldn’t make it will be able too next time.

Thanks once again to all who came along and helped to make the day a success!