Quidditch players riding their broomsticks. Stephanie Lane
Muggles playing Quidditch? With the popularity of the Harry Potter series, it was bound to happen.
Local McCauley resident and Edmonton Aurors University Quidditch Team player Soleil Heaney has made it to the top 40 Quidditch players in Canada to take her place on the Quidditch Canada National Team. She missed the cut for the travel team that would go to the Quidditch World Championships Florence, Italy in July to compete for the international title, but still attends team Canada practices as an alternate. She has aspirations of making the travel team next year to attend the Pan-American games in 2019 and the next World Cup in 2020.
Quidditch was originally introduced in the Harry Potter series as a fictional sport for wizards, flying on brooms to earn points and find the “snitch” (an enchanted ball). In 2014, Quidditch Canada was born out of a growing need for a national level organization when it became popular among the “muggles” (people without magical powers). Instead of a full broom, just the stick is used in the muggle version. The hoops, players, and snitch are all on the ground.
When I asked Soleil what she loves about Quidditch, she stated, “I started playing Quidditch after being recruited by a couple of girls I play basketball with. I was skeptical at first; however, just one practice in I was hooked. The sport has truly developed away from the fictional Harry Potter game and now requires true athleticism. I love that it combines an extremely physical game with a mental game. Quidditch is also a great tight-knit community and has given me the opportunity to form close friendships all across Canada and other countries around the world.” Heaney says that, “the sport is like handball, dodgeball, and rugby all in one.”
I recently attended a Quidditch tournament to find out more about the sport. It was such a unique and awe inspiring experience. I watched the two competing teams of 7 players play a very exciting and physical game where they competed for points and to find the treasured golden snitch. Even more impressive was the sportsmanship in their game of Quidditch. The teams gave “team spirit awards” every game to the opposing team, and instead of shaking hands after the game, they hug each other, which is really great to see. This game is co-ed and gender balanced on the field, a modern day approach to sport.
Still confused? (it’s all very new to most of us!) Go to the Quidditch Canada website: quidditchcanada.com/how-to-play and watch the video demonstration, or better yet, come out to the Hallelujah Garage Sale on July 7, where the Edmonton Aurors Quidditch Club will be holding interactive demonstrations on the sport at the McCauley Rink from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Stephanie lives in McCauley.