At the beginning of September 2016 BTP Branch member Rick Haslam attended an air soft shooting competition circulated by 9 Region. Here is his story.
Members of 9 Region IPA were invited to Kikinda, Serbia to participate in an air rifle shooting competition on the 2nd & 3rd of September. I went and had a fabulous time and what follows is a synopsis of my time there.
I’m retired, I’ve been visiting Romania on/off since 2008 and have lived there since August 2015 so it was easy for me to attend this event.
Day 1 – Friday Evening
From my house the journey to the venue took 90 minutes. I located the B&B/restaurant with the help of a friendly English speaking local resident. The President of IPA Kikinda Pavle Rajkov had spotted my Romanian car registration and saw me find a parking space and welcomed me with a friendly bear hug. We joined the others that had already arrived, three members of the Financial Police and two Police Officers from Sibiu Romania, plus a few local off duty officers. We had a coffee, introduced ourselves and with job stuff out the way we found other things to talk about and graduated to beer.
Others trickled in and at about 9 pm we all sat down to dinner. I was representing Section UK and others who attended came from Timisoara Romania, Poland, Macedonia and of course the locals. There were 24 dining and especially drinking. Being a lightweight, I went to bed at 2 am, some of the others apparently went to bed at 6 am and got 2 hours sleep!
Day 2 – Tournament Day
After breakfast the shooting tournament started. When not shooting, members and their families relaxed outside in the shade or sunbathed (it was 30 degrees all weekend) and drank beer, water, chatted, met other members and there were rolls for lunch. I won’t tell you how dire my shooting was, but I didn’t come last!
When the shooting was over, we were given a walking tour of the pretty town, a couple of beers and back to the hotel for a shower and a change of clothes. We all met up and made way to the party venue in convoy, then it began again – loud music, food and drink. This time there were over 100 people dining and through the evening I made some great new friends that I will stay in touch with
The music was Balkan and there was lots of dancing and drinking. The Romanian team from Sibiu and I went back to the hotel and I went to bed at midnight. The Polish contingent went back to their hotel and continued in their room into the early hours.
Day 3 – Home Time
Breakfast over, the farewells begin. We said goodbye to our new found friends and colleagues.
IPA Kikinda/Serbia would not allow us to buy ANY drinks over the 2 days of festivities, their hospitality generosity and friendliness was fantastic! It made it a memorable first IPA visit for me. As a guest I only had to pay for the B&B which was only 7000 RSD (about £40 for a twin/double).
This is a bi-annual event. I would certainly recommend attending. There is always someone around that speaks English and the Romanian and Serbian sections really appreciated me representing Section UK. I was told by many that on other IPA trips they had not met a UK IPA member and would like to meet more.
As a result of this event I have an invitation to visit Sibiu on March 25th 2017 for the National Police Day there and an open invite to visit Kikinda again.
If you would like to see a video with some of the event please click on the link. below but please note they speak Serbian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7YSglUyxNM