National Paintball Tournament
A guide to The Annual National Paintball Tournament by University Of Birmingham
Download a PDF copy here
National Paintballing Event
TYPE OF EVENT
Inter-University & Social
NUMBER OF WEEKS PREPARATION TIME NEEDED?
Within summer before term starts, 3 months in advance
NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS NEEDED?
For organisation, 3-4 main sevadaars needed. On the day as many sevadaars as possible!
ANY HELP FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS NEEDED?
BOSS and your local Gurdwara for langar
STEPWISE GUIDE TO PREPARATION IN THE RUN UP TO THE EVENT
1. Firstly agree a date with your committee alongside a suitable venue (for whatever activity you are doing).
-Get it passed by your Guild (if you need to! some guilds don't need notice of events that are off university campus, check this out.) complete any forms that are required, its vital your guild give the go ahead for the event, last thing you want is having to cancel at any time.
2. Choose 3-4 main sevadaars who will be organising the event from start to finish.
3. Get a poster made, this should include all details of the event such as cost, date, time, contact number/email etc.
4. Make a promo video, make it funny and concise, now start your social media campaign! spread the poster and video to all your members, other Sikh socs and other organisations such as your local gurdwaras/BOSS. Also put up posters/flyers in Sikh shops (Mr Singh’s etc) and Gurdwaras. Additionally, email/message each Sikh soc in the UK personally inviting them to the event. At each of your Sikh Soc events (weekly) have a sign-up laptop and keep promoting the event.
5. Handling registration- DO NOT ACCEPT MONEY ON THE DAY!!!! Take full payment before the event. Work with other Uni's to ensure they give you their registration money at least 10 days before the event (check this timescale with venue). Also, do check about how to get money off the other unis, some guilds/SU's have strict policies on this, if need be get the other unis to do direct bank transfer to the venue. For registration, get names, year of study, subject of study, email and contact number for each student. - this also creates a database of Sikhs on your campus, this can help with future events. (for example, networking within a certain subject field, or you need a poster making so you can ask someone within that field). Knowing peoples background helps to identify where they can help with seva, sometimes people need a little push so don't be afraid to ask! Set a strict deadline, no desi kham!
6. Planning for the day- Get in touch with BOSS and the venue to make sure everything will be good to go. For example, food arrangements. Sometimes things such as marquees are required. Check every detail, for paint-balling we had to try on the paint-balling masks to make sure dastars would be suitable, lol!
Plan the days structure beforehand, DO NOT FREE STYLE IT ON THE DAY- you are asking for a nightmare. Have a clear itinerary of how the day will run. Brief all the main sevadaars who will be helping on the day, have this meeting a few days before the event so any issues can be resolved in good time. Assign specific duties to your team. Duties include: welcoming people, directing people, taking payments/forms etc. In this case, we planned the teams before the day and sent them to the venue so they could label where each uni Sikh soc needed to go. This saved a lot of hassle on the day. Note: if you are doing a tournament of such, get an ideal team size from the venue and team up some Sikh societies if need be (any number of members is welcome from a Sikh soc, even just 1!). Best to do it region based, e.g. west midlands, London, east midlands. Make it as fun and competitive as possible, have trophies /prizes up for grabs (local businesses will sometimes not help with monetary gifts but will sponsor things like prizes or the langar, send a letter to all the gurdwara/Sikh businesses you can think of, the more sponsorship the cheaper it is for students!).
Assign someone to take videos /photos on the day and they compile an album and video of the highlights (if your uni has a photo society they may wish to take this on as a project, if you don't ask you don't get!). The success of next year’s sign ups is based on how well this year’s event is captured, think ahead!
7. Transport- leave other Sikh societies to make their own way to the venue, it is too much headache to organize it all and it's not a big ask for them. Where there are Unis coming from similar areas, recommend they travel together to save costs. Make it clear to each Uni on how to get to the venue (see venue website for travel routes). For your own university, always try and find people that drive within your society. If possible take cars (society should subsidise petrol costs for driver)- Note, it’s important to include travel costs for your uni Sikh soc in the price for the event (this will be different for each university). If not enough drivers, check trains/taxis/coaches, whatever works best!
GUIDE TO RUNNING THE EVENT ON THE DAY
For the paint-balling tournament we had sevadaars meeting and greeting, helping get gear on, checking teams as they arrive. Fairly simple stuff as the workers at the venue took lead of the day once the students had arrived.
At the beginning of the day before things get going, give an opening welcome speech saying thanks to everyone for attending, any future events/plans and most importantly start with an ardaas! (also, would be a good idea to say that if anyone is thinking of organising a similar event to feel free to approach you or BOSS for help, also big up BOSS and ask people to get involved! If there is a specific historical event that has occurred around the date of the event would be good to dedicate the event to an event / person throughout our history- a great way to share some knowledge on Sikhi, E.G. martyrdom of a Gursikh, 1984 Genocide or another famous Sakhi etc....) Essential to keep an eye on timings for the day, especially if you have got food coming! If you are running late/early let the food guys know. (Plan a lunch time before hand with the venue). As I mentioned earlier, all the roles should be organised in a meeting before the event day. -Have people you can trust and you know won't flop on the day. If someone is not pulling their weight either try speaking to them, if not just delegate to someone else. Worst comes to worst do it yourself, don't want to take the risk on big scale events. Remember to have someone taking pics/vids throughout the day. Most importantly make sure you enjoy the event! Do an Ardaas to Guru Ji before planning and before the day, leave it Guru's hands and things will always fall into place!
DID YOU FACE ANY ISSUES WHEN PLANNING OR CARRYING OUT THIS EVENT? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE?
For my year, we didn't need to go through our SU. However, the following year did need to, they faced a bit of paper work such as risk assessments and had to be a little more careful on how they handled the money for sign ups, but nothing hard! Also for food/langar, some SU's will ask for an allergy form or hygiene certificate, make sure these things are sorted well in advance.
WHAT AT YOUR TOP TIPS AND TAKE-HOME MESSAGES?
Make sure you have a meeting
1. With your Student union, get a clear idea of everything they want from you so that there are no hidden surprises throughout the planning. Do this as soon as you have a date.
2. With BOSS and your committee to start preparing as soon as possible. Make sure everyone is aware of their roles. Remember, if you are leading the event or you are the president it all rests on your shoulders, so you have an extra job of checking everyone else is doing what they are meant to. Don't be asleep through the process, keep on people’s backs (but don't be annoying lol).
I learnt so much from organising this event. The skills you will leave with are priceless and will stay with you throughout your life. Furthermore, I got to meet some amazing people via this event and gave me a great network among other Sikh students. It also laid the foundation for me to be able to organise similar events outside of Sikh society, so it's worth the energy and time (although it might get tough at times!). And finally, it does wonders in an interview lol! ;)