Sixteen-year-old Jarryd Gomm is the paintball wizard of Bothasig and now he plans to draw a bead on Paris to compete there later this year.
Jarryd was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder at a young age and attends Tafelberg School, but while he has had his fair share of struggles in the classroom, he’s a top gun in the paintball arena.
He started the sport three years ago, playing bushball (also known as woodsball) at first, more for the fun of it then anything else, but today he plays speedball, a competitive variant of paintball run in a controlled space.
“I’m really enjoying my time playing with my team, Working Class Heroes, and I hope to do this for a long time and get better at it,” says Jarryd. “I train quite hard for this, and I hope the sport could grow into something really big especially here in Cape Town.”
His mom, Tara Gomm, says the sport is not only a source of great fun for Jarryd, it has also helped him to develop as a person.
“With all the struggles in his life, he really wants this, and all we can do as his parents is help him fulfil his passion.”
In September, Jarryd has the opportunity to represent South Africa at the under-19 Paintball World Championships in Paris, France.
As with most things in life, the trip costs money and the family has to cough up R26 000 which includes accommodation at a B&B, flights, transport, visa fees, tournament entry, and travel insurance.
Tara says the family will a hold fund-raiser to cover the costs of Jarryd’s trip, but they’d also welcome any donations from the public.
South African National Paintball Association chairman Paul Grobler says Jarryd is a special talent and he really impressed selectors at the provincial cup at the end of April.
“This year, we have quite a young squad, and we are always encouraging people to join the sport. In May, the SA women’s team won the world cup in Prague, Czech Republic. The men’s team will participate in London in July and the under-19s will be in Paris and the tournament will take place from September 27 to 30.”