Friday, May 18, 2012

About Bea

One of the most successful and worldwide known female paintballer, Bea is known as one of paintball's best ambassadors. Bea brought something different to the paintball industry not only by being a female paintball player, but a vocal and knowledgeable promoter for the sport. In 2000, there weren't many female players playing national tournaments, thus manufacturers began to search for females to help endorse their products. For Bea, it was more than just putting on a "happy face" and smiling for the camera. With her entertainment background as a vocalist and dj, she used her training as a performer to help promote the products of her sponsors. She would dj at major events and would eventually do television and radio interviews in order to present paintball to the masses.

Bea started training on an all-girl tournament paintball team (Femmes Fatale) in August 2000. Tami Adamson of Extreme Rage Alternative Sports asked her to join the Femmes Fatale at the inception of the team's development and thanks to that introduction, Bea has been part of the paintball community ever since.

June 2001, she moved to Southern California and started working for the leader in the paintball industry at the time (JT USA) as their Promotions Coordinator where she helped managed a half-million dollar sponsorship budget. She has worked hard to advance the sport because of her educational background, hands-on experience, and because of her industry relationships as an individually sponsored female player.

In the first two years of Bea's paintball career, she quickly created a positive image for herself by doing what she does best - promote paintball. At paintball's most popularly attended event called World Cup in 2001, she gave new meaning to the title "Promotions Coordinator" when she announced games taking place at the JT USA Compound, played music in between games, and commentated about those teams that were sponsored by JT before X-Ball or the New Super 7 Series began their feat to bring commentation to the forefront.

In 2001, the International Amateur Open asked Bea to DJ/MC the "Extreme Tent", and invited her to return to the IAO 2002, where she not only participated as a player, but also got to announce the bands playing at the Wretched 7 and Warped Sportz sponsored concert. Also in 2002, she was asked to come on board the Ultimate Madness Tournament to announce and play music, another event where she also got involved as a player. Bea was called upon to the host the First Paintball Expo where she dj/mc'd and was hired as an educator. The Paintball Expo went on to do several more shows thereafter, teaching new players the basic fundamentals about the game and co-conducting gun tech classes with pro player, Mike Paxson.

In Toronto, Canada, Bea hosted one of the most popular events known to be the biggest and best indoor paintball tournament in the world at the time (2002) - Skyball. During her time spent at Skyball, she went as Bea Youngs, "the paintballer", on a media tour which included a visit to TSN's Off the Record sitting amongst a celebrity panel that included figure skating champion, Jennifer Robinson, and Wade Belak of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Team.

Bea continued to host events all across the world, providing the right atmosphere with music and/or information to a rising number of spectators. Bea has experience providing news as a radio commentator and host. She debuted her first live event coverage at Paintball Expo 2004 where she interviewed Alex Fraige and was the first to reveal the Shocker images.

In July 2003, Bea co-hosted the 1st Annual World Paintball Skills Championship where player's individual skills were tested to truly determine who the best player in the world was. This event aired on PAX Communications.

Not only did she host events, she also co-hosted the Challenge Park Xtreme's Yearbook DCD entitled, "CPX 2K2 alongside BMX Pro Micah Kranz. Challenge Park was one of the world's greatest extreme sports park of its kind. Now it's home of the Famous Living Legends event.

Since Winter of 2003, Bea has been teaching paintball camps/clinics across the country alongside professionals like Living Legend, Rocky Cagnoni, and Professional Paintball Player for the Los Angeles Ironmen, Mike Paxson (who is also her husband since 2007). Bea was one of Ronn Stern's Paintball Camps instructors and already taught the first industry-wide paintball camp to ever be offered during both the Summer and Winter of 2003. Ronn Stern's Paintball Camps instigated a fury of other camps, clinics, and paintball instruction, but Ronn Stern was the FIRST to start the trend.

She has written numerous articles and has provided photography for historical magazines like Paintball2Xtremes Magazine ("One-on-One" Column), FaceFull Magazine (PROSpect), Paintball Sports Magazine (Interviews), and Paintball Games International (Event Coverage). She had her own column at for several years, beginning in 2001. In 2007, she was offered the Editor-in-Chief position at Paintball Sports Magazine and remained with the magazine until the print magazine could no longer compete with the internet in 2009. The only paintball magazines still in print in the USA are FaceFull and Action Pursuit Games.

Bea has made international television appearances on TLC's Junkyard Wars and was interviewed on Women's Entertainment Channel's half-hour show called "Winning Women" where they show Bea's life in the paintball world and as a musician.

Woodland Industries sponsored Bea as her glove sponsor, creating a custom glove, making another mark in the category of uniqueness. She helped promote and market Woodland Industries at SWAT Team Competitions like the SWAT Roundup and SWAT SE Conference, where SWAT teams from all over the world go to compete and share ideas and techniques. Because of Woodland Industries, she attended the 2003 SE SWAT Conference and assisted in the Hostage Rescue Event; coverage of the conference aired on ESPN II in July and August 2003 known as the National SWAT Challenge.

If Bea's not at a paintball event or on the road promoting paintball, she's always getting a two practices in a week with her husband, Mike Paxson and with her team, Destiny, which began at the beginning of 2004. Bea co-owns Destiny, the 2006 San Diego Super 7 D2 Champions, which is the first time a co-ed team ever won a championship in the United States. After the 2006 season in the Super 7, Destiny placed 2nd overall out of 200 teams that competed in the Series. Part of the team's success comes from the coaching ability of Mike Paxson.

Before Destiny Paintball, in 2003, Bea played on Southern California's Bushwackers, a team that Mike Paxson was playing on. She traveled with the Bushwackers and played the Millennium Series London event in the semi-pro division and the team took 5th place.

In November of 2004, the first paintball video game for X-Box was developed - Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball Game. Bea has been featured in the game as a selectable character since the game's inception.

Bea co-hosted the 2007 College Paintball Championships which aired on Fox College Sports in July 2007. Her debut as a national commentator came in 2005 when the National Collegiate Paintball Association recommended that she co-host the show alongside Greg Amsinger, host for The One College Sports Show and Tourney Talk for College Sports Television (CSTV). From 2005 to 2006, the NCPA presented their college national championship events as the "Collegiate Nationals" when it aired on CSTV. For the 2007 season, however, the show got picked up by Fox College Sports (FCS) and was known as the "JT USA College Paintball Championships". Because of this transition, Matty Marshall, one of paintball's greatest and well-known former professional paintball players worldwide, came in to host the show alongside Bea.

At Paintball Sports Promotions starting in 2004, Bea offered to help the "NXL" at the time by making announcements with some light commentary of what games were taking place on the field. She would play music in between points during the NXL matches to keep the field interesting. She actually volunteered herself to do this to give pro teams and players the recognition they deserved. For the pros, it was about entertaining their supporters/fans/spectators. More and more spectators that were new to the tournament side of paintball didn't know the rules of the NXL at the time, so it was only fitting that there was a "voice" to explain the object of the game, reason for penalties, what teams are on top and vying for the championship, etc. Simultaneously, you could hear Bea also sideline coaching for Mike Paxson (in the NXL, Mike played for LTZ, Aftershock, and has been on the Ironmen roster since 2007).

In the NPPL, Bea not only played, but she also helped be a live commentator for the show in 2006.  Although she couldn't cover the games throughout the entire weekend of the event, she would have a chance to talk to online viewers in real-time during the event instead.

Bea has traveled to Australia to play on Team Bitchin', an all-female team, and helped them take a 2nd place finish in 2005 at the Australian Masters. She was invited back to Australia again in 2006, she took teammate, Kat Secor, with her and they took 2nd place again.

In 2007, Bea and Mike got married after dating for 5 years. They were engaged in Corvallis, Montana, where Mike's mom resides. They were married in Las Vegas, where Mike's father lives. At the time of the wedding, Bea's father, Jeff Youngs, was living with Parkinsons/MSA (Multi-System Atrophy) and was diagnosed in 2005. Bea was already living in Southern California for almost 5 years when she moved back home to Florida to become her father's full-time and primary caregiver. Bea's father died in November of 2008.

Mr. Youngs lost the ability to take care of himself in 2006, losing the ability to talk and walk and was basically paralyzed, but he still had his mind.  Bea still did her best to remain active within the paintball world and when she had to leave her father, other family members and a hospice staff would be there to help.  It was at the 2008 San Diego Super 7 event when Bea got called home early.  Leaving the event immediately on a Saturday, Bea made it home in time.  Two days later, with Bea and her mother at his bedside, he passed away.  Before he would die, Bea was able to tell her father that she was 4 weeks pregnant and when she did, he looked at her, and she could tell by the way his eyes lit up, he was happy.

For obvious reasons, Bea would put paintball on hold.  She was extremely close to her father, especially in the last years of his life.  There would be a couple of times they would have to call 911 because Mr. Youngs would have a couple of pneumonia cases.  This one particular scare would put them in a situation where Bea felt she had to share final sentences with him, telling him how much she loved him, and said, “Dad, you’re the reason why I am who I am.  I want to be like you. You’re my best friend.”  And he would say, “And you’re my best friend.”  Both would break down in tears and as the ambulance arrived to pick him up, she would go with him and slept in the hospital for the two weeks he would be there.  Episodes like this would happen often where Bea would find herself spending many sleepless nights worrying about what the next day would bring.  During this whole time, Bea still did her best to stay in the paintball loop because paintball was her only escape from the difficulties of caring for a dying parent. 

After Bea’s dad was gone, she did everything she could to avoid falling into a severe depression, but sadness and guilt still consumed her.  She tried to do some paintball events and even attended the 2008 Wayne Dollack Grand Finale event and had a Destiny Army Scenario team there.  She also attended the 2009 Paintball Extravaganza, working for the event promoters.  It was also during this time that Bea was still the Editor-in-Chief at Paintball Sports Magazine.  Right before Bea would give birth to Bebe Paxson, the magazine went out of business.  After this, Bea couldn’t handle doing anything else but focusing on having a healthy pregnancy and that meant doing nothing else but.  In July 2009, Bea gave birth to 9lb, 12 oz. Beatrix Catherine Paxson aka “Bebe”.  From that point forward, all Bea did was take care of her family by being a stay-at-home mom and managed Mike’s professional paintball life. 

Bea’s life changed dramatically when her father died and when Bebe entered her womb.  She went from traveling alongside Mike every other weekend to abruptly stopping all travel.  Mike would continue his paintball career, whereas Bea made the decision to remove herself entirely from the scene that she knew for 8 years straight.  Given her circumstances, losing her father and getting pregnant in the same year, that can be a tough thing to swallow.  It just didn’t make sense for her to do anything but take care of her family and enjoy the early years of her first and most likely only child’s life. 

Now that Bebe will be 3 in July of this year, it feels like the right time for her to come back to the paintball world.  So, in December of 2011, Bea started playing paintball again and every weekend until the first 2012 event of the season, she trained.  It was at the 2012 Surf City USA Open when she decided it was time to bring back Destiny, especially after competing with two of her former teammates, Kat Secor and Katie Kelley.  Playing alongside them made her happy and the passion for paintball returned deep within her heart.

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