Thanks to the people who have supported the APA in this thread, it is much appreciated. We do agree with CJD that we could do more to improve our communication with the public on what we are doing and plan to do for paintball, and will certainly take this on board (thanks for your offer of web design assistance, we will contact you regarding this in the near future). However as it currently stands, we have limited resources in terms of a) the number of people who are willing to volunteer their time to help out, b) limited funds with which to actually get things done, and c) time constraints, as the association is based on people helping out voluntarily in their own time.
We are doing the best we can with what we have, which is why we ask for members to join and/or volunteer where they can, to help the association gain momentum and actually achieve some goals. We can understand if people don’t want to put their money into an association, but what about simply volunteering their time and/or resources instead, and find out exactly what we do and what we need help with? It will certainly assist us to do more for the sport.
To answer the posts about who we are and what we have done/are doing, below is a brief description of the APA and a list of the main things which we have either done in the past or are currently working on. Please note that most of this information either has been, or is, on our website at various times (since the website began), and it would be much more appropriate (and time efficient) for the people who are interested in what we are about, to actually contact us directly for the information rather than posting on a separate website forum. Our contact details are on our website: www.paintball.org.au.
The Australian Paintball Association Inc has been in existence for over 9 years. It has, over the years, varied its activities from being involved in paintball locally and on a state level, to helping grow the sport on a national scale, but its main aim has always been to operate in the interests of advancing the sport of paintball, for the people who play it. We not only have players on our management committee, we have manufacturers, suppliers/field operators, and non-players who volunteer their time and effort to support the association and help where they can.
Briefly, below are some highlights for the association so far:
• We are the only Paintball Association that is incorporated and has been for over 4 years (which is one of the requirements to be nationally recognised by the Federal Government)
• Submitted a proposal to a federal committee to change the customs law for importation of markers
• Currently submitting a proposal to the NSW government for significant changes as part of the review of firearms legislation currently being undertaken
• Finalising details in relation to an offer from the Moreton Bay Council for land for the APA for paintball related activities
• Assisting with the running of a paintball event for the World Firefighters Games 2012
• Organising a national tournament series for 2012 – Indoor and Outdoor
• Held promotional stands at local community skateboard events and other related events
• Ran successful Qld Masters Series paintball tournaments over several years along the east coast of Qld
• Secured paintball as a demonstration sport at the 2010 Xsport Games and as a competition sport at the 2011 Xsport Games
• Provide regular advice and support for members of the public who are interested in playing paintball either socially or competitively and people who want to start fields
Here are some further points to think about when deciding whether to join the APA:
• Is it necessarily about what you as an individual will get in return for your $36, or is it more about the bigger picture of how the sport (and therefore you) will benefit by you joining?
• Government bodies don’t tend to recognise associations with limited members, resources or capacity, so the more members and resources we have, the more power we have to negotiate paintball’s position in the relevant areas
• If we have limited funds and limited members/support, it is not so easy for us to donate prizes (and the like) to events. We aim to help where we can, and certainly provided prizes, trophies and incentives during the Qld Masters Series tournaments
• If you need to be a financial member of a paintball club or association to fulfil the ‘genuine reason to own a marker’ criteria for your firearms license, we can provide that letter for financial members
• For most overseas tournaments, players are required to join the association running the event eg. PALS, NPPL etc. Does anyone question what their membership money will get them or how the association is helping the sport? And how much are these other memberships compared to the $36 for the APA?
In response to the question about who the Victorian representative is, currently there is no Victorian representative as we have offered the spot to a number of people and no one has shown an interest, however if you or anyone you know are interested then please contact us and we can discuss it further.
If your state has upcoming issues relating to legislation that you would like us to assist with, please join the association and work with us to help achieve the changes you are looking for.
We hope this information helps in the decision of whether or not to join the APA, or at least encourages people to contact us for further information if they need it. To this end, we will not be providing any further responses to comments or questions on this or any other public forum, but rather we will provide information to anyone who wishes to inquire directly with us, and/or via our website.