Liz Thomson
People - News 26 Nov 2008

Sarah Jenkins of Team EUK: splattered but unbowed

As a way of expending all that unhealthy tension we all of us carry around, a little light paintballing goes a long way. In an evening to celebrate the forthcoming release of Robert Muchamore's Henderson's Boys, Hachette Children's Books organised a showdown between various bookselling teams and Hodder.

Muchamore played for the home team - but that didn't prevent Hodder being thrashed, coming in seventh place with just 50 points behind WHS Dark Blues in first place with 240 points, Sainsbury's, who came in a close second with 220, Tesco in third place with 180, EUK and Borders who tied on 130 and WHS Pale Blues with 100. Or maybe Muchamore's really a paintballing champ, but thought he should let the other guys win.

Organised with tournament precision, the teams rotated, so that they each got a chance to play one another, and on three different fields. 'The aim was to get the retailers as excited as possible about the new series and give them a chance to battle it out with their rivals,' explains Hodder Press Officer Sarah Bennett.

It appears all the contestants were suitably adrenalised, Shelly Roberts and John Webb, respectively Children's Buyers at Sainsbury's and EUK, both agreeing that 'it was the best publisher event of the year so far' - which, given that the year has but a few weeks to run, would seem to make it the best event of the year.

Added Webb: 'Despite the number of paintballs flying about, I think the worst bruises were Team EUK's egos after Team Sainsbury's thrashed us with a bold flanking manoeuvre.'

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