To continue with my series on The Girls of Paintball I scored a great interview with Benedicte Rønneberg, Captain of the all girl team, "Poison Ivy." Benedicte and her crew just returned to Norway after competing in The World Cup in Florida and was gracious enough to take time out from her busy schedule.
How did you all get started in paintball and how did you get together as a team?
August 2005 my brother asked me if I had some friends who wanted to help out at a tournament in Norway. We needed some extra cash and was more then willing to help out.
At the end of the weekend some of us were asked if we could step in on a team in 3rd division (which was the lowest division on this tournament) and my brother convinced us to do it. My brother had been playing for some time and was always nagging on me to try. After we played, Kim from SniperPaintball came over to us and asked all of us if we wanted to start a girl team. And we did, and here we are!
We started out with 11 girls practicing 3-4 times a week! Some girls fell off, maybe because they didn’t fall in love with the game like we did. We are four girls left from that original group (Silje, Linn, Pia and myself), during these four years we have had some other girls on the team that have either quit or gone to other teams. The youngest on Poison Ivy, Marit is the little sister of a friend of ours and Marie started playing for us at the Malaga event in 2009. And we will have some new girl’s on the team for the next season.
What's the best part about playing for Poison Ivy?
Well there is so much! But I love the fact that we have so much fun, no matter where we are in the world!
Do you have a home field? Tell us about it.
Our home field is at SniperPaintball. Both inside and outside. During the winter there is soooo much snow in Norway so we have to practice inside with reball. And in the summer we have this great place 45 min from where we live. It’s really great to have the possibility to practice all year. And SniperPaintball really helps us out with everything!
We play the Millennium Series in Europe so we have been around, England, France, Germany, Spain. And we play in different parts of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This year we went to World Cup in Orlando, which was great! So we are really hoping to go back there next year.
Is there anything you might want to say to young women thinking about playing paintball?
Do it!! Yes, it hurts sometimes, but that’s nothing compared to how much fun it is! And a big plus is that we only play against boy’s/men and that is a good enough reason for me! Hehe..
I asked the last person I interviewed, "What should I ask the next person I interview?" Taylor Cormier asks, "You should ask your next interview victim if, when they got their start playing, if they were socially accepted, and/or supported by their friends and families. And if that effected playing progress."
Well, for Taylor’s question;
When we started playing we didn’t get a lot of support, not from our friends or families. I don’t think they believed us. They didn’t think that this was something that would last. I believe most of our friends thought it was a joke. My parents didn’t approve of it and they still don’t like that I play paintball. But I think that made us want it even more! And we practiced almost every day of the week to begin with. We wanted to prove to everyone that we could do this and that Poison Ivy was here to stay.
We got a lot of support from different people within the paintball community. And we had some great trainers, Christopher and Lars who have played for Drammen Solid and Oslo Menace and one amazing guy that really got us started with this, Mads. We love you! Thank you for making Poison Ivy possible.
What would you like me to ask the next person I interview?
I would like to ask this person, assuming this is a girl, what they feel is the biggest challenge about being a girl team in paintball, and how they deal with it ?
Thank you, Benedicte. And hey, everyone needs to stop by Poison Ivy's Facebook page and check out the pictures of some of the great places this team has been.