SP: So Mark, you are commonly known for starting Help Keep Paintball Alive, or otherwise HKPBA. What inspired you to actually make the Facebook page and bring what we all want to do, to life?
MP: Well as a paintball player I saw shops and fields fighting to stay open. It was like no one was supporting them to stay open. So I started to get into the sport even more and try to support the fields and shops in NY. As a fan of TechPB I saw Mike and Willie as 2 guys trying to keep this sport going. TechPB was a big part of why I started what I felt was to help promote the sport we all love. I then wanted to start a local team to be able to get out and play more. I got a few guys together and started a Team and wanted to try to get a team Sponsorship with anyone. So I came up with the page Help Keep Paintball Alive on February 16, 2010. I just started to post anything that had to do with paintball. Just keeping others up to date on the sport. Then others started to follow me on the page and checking out the videos & News on Paintball that I posted. This was when Gino Postorivo started chatting with me on Facebook. I did not know who he was but he was a great guy to talk to about paintball. Next thing that I knew was that Gino was the CEO of Valken Sports. Valken was my first Sponsor. So then I started full force in promoting the sport. And then Gen-X-Global, Ninja Paintball, Empire Paintball and other companies started to give me support. So I just keep doing what I did best and the was to Promote the sport of paintball and try to get others to get out and play.
SP: How long would you say you’ve been playing?
MP: I have been playing since 1989
SP:Who or what got you into this sport?
MP: At my job we got together to play at Skirmish USA. Just a bunch of Law Enforcement Officers going out to have fun shooting at each other. The first gun I used was a Pump gun. I got hooked!
SP: I’ve noticed you have been going to a lot of events and getting amazing amounts of coverage for just one person. Would you ever consider spreading HKPBA out and having others go in as media under the HKPBA name and take pictures at events you couldn’t make or is that something for your own personal enjoyment?
MP: Yes I would love to make HKPBA better.. I’m only one person and yes I have traveled a lot in just 2 years. I have met most of the top executives from the Paintball world. It’s crazy how they know who I am. But I just go out to have fun and show my support for the sport. So yes I hope to get others who care about the sport like me into helping me get out and show others how much fun this sport is. The only thing is that I can’t pay anyone to do the job. 😉
SP: Other than paintball, what is it you do for a living, for those who may not already know?
MP: Well I don’t talk about that but I am a Law Enforcement Officer. I hold the rank of Captain in NYC. I have been in Law Enforcement for 24 years now! It’s a job…. I have seen a lot. But I will never forget September 11, 2001…. That was a sad day here in NYC. I hope we never have to see that again.
SP: If you could add your own personal touch on the sport, what would it be?
MP: I would only want people to get out and play. It’s hard for most people because of the cost. It is a very expensive sport. But if everyone got together and tried to work together maybe we can get more people to play if the cost was lowered some. But the bills need to be paid so it isn’t easy. Volunteer at a local field could help keep those cost down… If you volunteer at your local field they will give you a great deal when you play. So if we work together things can get better. And you should always support your local fields and shops!
SP: and last but not least, whats your favorite color?
MP: Red & Black…