The new sport getting ready to blast into Bowen
A NEW addiction sweeping Queensland which encourages the young and young at heart to get off the couch and get moving will be coming to Bowen very soon.
The adrenaline packed outdoors sport of gel blasting has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity with new groups and fields springing up all over the region, with clubs and venues already formed in Townsville, Mackay and Airlie Beach.
Similar to paint ball, gel blasters look like real guns that shoot water filled gel. Participants make their way through a field and shoot at opponents, with different goals such as skirmish and king of the hill.
For Bowen resident, Rob Salmon, he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his weekend and has now endeavoured to give Bowen a taste of the sport.
He has helped to organise an event to take place at the Bowen Showgrounds on January 18 and has already been met with ‘overwhelming support’ for the idea.
He was first introduced to the sport by his brother, and has since joined a team in Townsville, and hopes that the event could be the start of a ‘long term plan for a club and location in Bowen.”
“The sport is getting so popular. We need something like this in the area, I think Bowen would really benefit from having somewhere they could play,” he said.
“The atmosphere you get from the sport is second to none, the social aspect is one of the best parts. There’s no bullying, and no bad vibes, it’s just really great mateship from everyone.
“It gets people moving, especially the young ones who are more than happy to get away from the screens and get outside when it’s time to play the sport.”
He said he had been planning an event in Bowen for over six months, and with the help of the Bowen Showground Society it was now a reality.
If the initial event goes well, he said there were tentative plans to make a more permanent set up at the showgrounds.
“I’m not doing this event to make any money out of, I’m hoping it will be able to birth a club in Bowen,” he said.
“There’s a whole mobile course travelling down from Townsville, as well as some guns people will be able to hire.
“If this goes good, we’d like to look at introducing a more permanent area for it at the showgrounds that could be packed up if the area is needed, giving an area for more events.”
Mr Salmon said gel blasters were a safe alternative to paintball or airsoft, and while they had been banned in some states, he believed it was all about ‘education and common sense’.
‘Having a venue like this in Bowen will let us teach the young ones a bit of common sense about the sport,” he said.
“You’re not allowed to be carried uncovered in public because they resemble real guns, so you cover them when you move around. At the end of the day these are just toys, but people need to know what to correctly do so the sport isn’t ruined for everyone else.
“It’s very accessible for anyone, a basic set up will cost around $120-150, so it’s not out of the reach of most people if they’re interested.”
The event will run from 1-4pm on Saturday, January 18 at the Bowen Showgrounds.
The cost is $30 for adults and $20 for children. A limited amount of gel blasters will be available for hire on the day. For more information contact Rob Salmon on 0435 972 838.