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Boris Johnson uses paintball to try and earn some cool points

Boris Johnson

I’m not a regular Telegraph reader, but I came across this article online and it didn’t half make me chuckle. I’ll let you read it for yourself, but the comments its generated are where the real story lies.

The Major of London, to give him his proper title, apparently took his son for a game of paintball and felt compelled to write is his regular Telegraph column just how important the game is to the nation. I couldn’t agree more! However, I’m not saying that to add a bit of spin to a Conservative administration, as I suspect he was.

The point of the article seems to be that paintball develops and delivers some key skills which, in turn, make it so popular and something which the nation should “owe a great debt to”. Boris goes on to say that the fun of paintball is completed superseded by the other benefits it offers, which I think is taking it a bit far. I’ve written on here countless times about the various benefits of paintball – team building, confidence boosting, strategic planning, fitness – but fun has to come first, otherwise I’m sure people would find alternatives in a flash – that’s what we think here at Bedlam anyway.

To be fair to Mr Johnson, he does share our passion for throwing in a few movie references when describing the buzz of paintball, and he even came up with an account of what it’s like to be hit that I’ve never once heard before: “It was as if some unsporting fiend had hit a squash ball at close range into my left armpit”. Not bad!

However, the whole thing reads like an attempt to earn some brownie points and suggest that if something as low-brow and family orientated as paintball could flourish during these hard economical times, then there’s nothing for the country to worry about. I guess it’s a good way to subtly get the message across, but I just don’t like to see paintball used as a political plot-device in an otherwise dull Tory column.

And he calls markers ‘guns’…big faux pas.

I’m sure BoJo has more important things to be writing about than paintball, so let’s leave it to those of us who actually play it to have fun!

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