Keele students fly high for Team GB Quidditch
Three would-be wizards and witches from Keele University made the national squad for an international Quidditch tournament against the USA, Canada, Australia and France. The three Keele students will be joining players from around the country to form the first ever UK team, which will bring some wizardry to the skies, or more likely the playing fields, in Oxford.
The game has been adapted from the fictional world of Harry Potter, where magical students fly around on broomsticks in a team game fusing elements of dodge ball, netball, rugby and magic. With the success of the Harry Potter books, the sport has since been adapted for muggle players and now boasts more than 400 registered Quidditch teams in America. The game has only recently begun to develop in the UK, with the first official game taking place at Keele University in March 2012.
The tournament has been organised by the International Quidditch Association and will see the five competing nations battle it out in the sports first ever international summer games. It will take place over two days and the organisers are showcasing as part of the official Olympic torch relay, which will arrive in Oxford on Monday.
Ben Morton, chaser for Keele University’s quidditch team, Avada Keeledavra, said: “We’re really pleased to have such a strong Keele representation in the UK team. We’ve been working hard to help promote quidditch as an exciting sport and we hope this event shows just how much fun it is. The game is growing rapidly in the UK and around the world and perhaps one day we’ll even see quidditch being played as an Olympic sport!”
Ben will be joined by his Keele team mates Zoe Ludford-Brooks, playing as a chaser, and Robbie Young, playing as seeker, who are hoping to help crown the UK as the first ever champions of the international Quidditch Summer Games. The UK coaching team also includes Keele students, Robert Barringer, President of QuidditchUK and UK team manager, and Megan Shaw, Volunteers Coordinator. Acting as one of the officiators at the tournament will be Steven Titley, another Keele student and Avada Keeledavra chaser.
The tournament will be governed by the International Quidditch Association’s rule book, which is based on a muggle’s interpretation of the game. Whilst running around on broomsticks, the players will stay as close to the fictional game as possible. The infamous flying ‘snitch’ will be played by a neutral player dressed in yellow with a tennis ball in his waistband and ‘Beaters’ will throwing dodge balls at their opponents in an attempt to knock them off their brooms.
For those interested in finding out more about quidditch in the UK can join the Facebook group, ’QuidditchUK’.