Harry Potter fans are staying fit and healthy by adopting a sport that comes straight from the books written by J. K. Rowling.
Anyone who has seen the movies or read the books knows all about the sport of Quidditch, which features broomsticks, bludgers and a disappearing snitch. Fans of the books took the fantasy Quidditch and brought it to life, albeit without the flying brooms.
To accommodate the lack of flying, players run with a mini broom while staying within their respective roles.
It’s a cross between rugby, dodgeball, tag and lacrosse explained Ricky Boyce, a former Ponoka resident who spent a few days at Ponoka Secondary Campus last week working up interest in the local Red Deer league, the Central Alberta Centaurs.
“The Centaurs are trying to get into Ponoka. We’re making baby steps towards that,” said Boyce, adding that the goal is to bring a variety of players to the game.
Along with Boyce were a few other players who have found a love for playing.
For Kim Mickelson, getting more kids involved in the sport is just another way to grow its membership. She joined the Red Deer league last year but also plays in Edmonton. Depending on the experience of players the game can go from development to full tackle quidditch. “In the competitive level games it’s full contact. You’re tackling people.”
She added that the broom almost acts as a handicap in the game, forcing players to use certain tactics to get the job done. “You can’t run as fast.”
Edmonton and Calgary have competitive teams and she said Central Alberta Quidditch organizers hope to engage more players to join in on the competition and build up its teams.
For those wanting to get involved, it is the full quidditch experience except the brooms don’t fly and the snitch, which is a small flying ball in the books, is actually a person who makes every attempt to stop players from grabbing a small flag attached to them.
It’s a physical game but not overly strenuous either, she added.
For Brian Gallaway, another Central Alberta Quidditch player, there is so much happening at once that it makes a fun challenge. While most of the players, coaches and competitions are at a smaller level the competition is intense. “We’re doing selection camps this summer, moving towards world cup 2018.”
Boyce recently returned from a trip to British Columbia where he helped the Edmonton Aurors win gold at the Quidditch Canada National Championships.
“I’ve had sometimes three classes at one session,” said Boyce of the interest.
Anyone wanting to get involved can check out www.centralalbertaquidditch.com for more information.