Gel blasting set to return
AFTER a successful event in January, Bowen Gel Blasting organisers are bringing the game to town for round two, encouraging residents to get active this weekend.
Gel blasting's popularity has spiked "astronomically" with the sport set to be played at the North Queensland Games later this year.
The energetic game is likened to paintball, where players make their way through the course shooting gel blaster guns at other players.
The event will be held at Bowen Showgrounds on Sunday March 15 at 2pm until 5pm.
Organiser Rob Salmon said the event was such a success last time that he knew he had to organise another, saying he hoped to set up a gel blasting club for Bowen.
"I wanted something here, I knew there were people in Bowen who were interested."
"We know there is a lot of interest in Bowen so I want to start a club down here where we can have sausage sizzles, keep the costs down for everyone."
Mr Salmon said that 79 people had turned out for the previous event in January, a number which demonstrates a high level of the interest in the community.
"We had the guy say to us that he's usually in Brisbane where there's 100 people, and we had 79, we did good up here," he said.
In an age of inactivity, increased screen time and obesity, the sport encourages both kids and adults to get active, offering "huge" benefits to people of all ages, said Mr Salmon.
"There are social benefits, physical benefits, mental health benefits. The benefits are huge," he said.
"We have a problem with obesity in kids and adults, if you come down you'll run around and see the amount of exercise you get.
"This is getting kids away from screens, getting exercise, they're running around with sweat dripping off them and they aren't on their tablets."
Mr Salmon said since the spike in popularity, players and owners of gel blasters had faced "bit of a battle" over the last few months.
The Queensland Government had raised the issue that gel blasters resembled firearms and were concerned about misuse in public places, said Mr Salmon.
"I was led to believe around 750,000 gel blasters were sold in Queensland last year, it's a sport that's growing astronomically, and 99 per cent of the people interested are responsible, it's a minority those people misusing them," he said.
"It gets kids off bums, adults off bums and getting people involved in a game that's very safe and yet the Queensland government wants to take that away from us."
The event will run from 2-5pm on Sunday, March 15 at the Bowen Showgrounds.
The cost is $25 for adults and $20 for children. Gel blasters will be available for use on the day. For more information contact Rob Salmon on 0435 972 838.