I had the pleasure of meeting some great new young players this weekend. I was able to attend Lincolnshire Airsoft Clubs under 18 event. This event was as the title suggests an event for the under 18's. There were a few young players there to take advantage of the being able to use a full airsoft site all on there own. Obviously, there was LAC staff on hand to create some amazing matches for these young players.
I am always surprised that in airsoft there are not as many events for the younger players. Now I know that any aged player can join a normal event with all the adults but it would be a bit daunting for these youngsters to join a team of adults that have probably been playing for years. In this event we had young players who had only a few events under there belts, there also were players that were on there first ever event.
There were a few adult players here too, these were simply here to make up the numbers and to give the youngsters somebody to work with during the matches. The adults would show the young players how to attack and defend. They were also there to make sure that no harm came to these young players other than being shot lol.
I was there as a photographer, but I also had my kit with me just in case. I was using my Tokyo Marui SCAR H Recoil rifle but I never really thought that I'd get a match.
I went out with the teams, to say they were eager would be an understatement, these players were itching to get out there and shoot each other.
When the first few matches were being played I was walking around the teams taking photos. It's amazing what you see as a photographer. I noticed that even though the weather was not at it's best the players were still having fun and getting on with the job of taking structures and defending them. They were running all over the match areas all eager to get the job done.
It was at this point that I was introduced to a young player who was on his first ever match. Now obviously I can not name this young player but he was amazing to watch. He just kept on running, kept on shooting and kept on taking objectives. He never stopped smiling and even though it was his first time with an airsoft rifle he was completely at home. He picked up the rules and showed simply put the finest sportsmanship I have seen. This is not to say that other players were cheating far from it but remember this was a player on his first ever event.
After this match, unfortunately, the weather turned from a slight drizzle to a heavy shower. Even though the temps went down slightly the action didn't stop. The youngsters were still just as excited to get out there and shoot each other.
The club started to swap the adults around and I had my chance to show what the SCAR could do. Now with me involved in a few matches, I had the chance to see just how good these young players truly were. In between me trying to run shoot and manoeuvre I was very impressed with just how these young players moved and fired. On the whole, their shots were accurate and quite painful lol. Their sportsmanship was without equal. Every confirmed kill shot form my SCAR was continued with a HIT HIT HIT and a flag.
This event was not about me or any of the adults who played, it was all about the youngsters. They were simply amazing. I would welcome the chance to play alongside these players anytime.
I hope that other clubs out there also have these events aimed towards the younger players. After all its these young players that will take the sport into the future years.
These are the next generation.