This week saw me face my biggest challenge yet. So far I had conquered (sort of), korfball, mastered motorsport and done just fine at fencing, but this week’s task was at a different level altogether. Because this was the week that I took a dive into the world of Quidditch.
Now before we begin, I must confess that I’m not much of a Potter-pedant. I’ve watched the films – haven’t we all – but knowing the rules of Quidditch takes a little more knowledge than your average cinema goer like myself has.
Firstly, there’s the quaffle, the main ball in the game. The aim is for any of the three chasers to get this ball through one of the three hoops at the other end to score 10 points. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Now imagine three opposing chasers and a keeper trying to stop you by any means possible and a further two – the aptly-named beaters – throwing bludgers (dodgeballs in this Muggle world) at you whilst you do it. Not so easy now is it?
To be brutally honest, I hadn’t prepared myself for this. There I was on the walk to Hyde Park expecting some nice, gentle fun riding around brooms. Little did I know that the tackle bags would be out when it came to defence practice and that throwing a bludger in someone’s face – as I had the glorious experience of doing – was completely legal. It had only been 20 minutes into my first ever Quidditch session, but already I was feeling myself coming under its spell. I was a convert.
Back to the action, and so we’ve got the quaffle and the bludgers. Now let’s chuck in 1 more ingredient; the Golden Snitch. Even the least ardent of Harry Potter fans will know about the Snitch, the one the seeker is usually trying to catch as it flies all over the place.
Although some of the Quidditch gang might think they can, we can’t fly, so the Snitch takes on a different form. Put a tennis ball inside a yellow sock and attach it to someone’s shorts and hey presto, you have a Snitch! The game ends when the seeker from either side manages to capture the Snitch, thus earning their side 30 points. That’s when you can relax after an intense battle with the foe which means you’ve really run out of (Huffle)puff.
Wandering into the world of Wizardry was an enjoyable experience, and the game was a lot more tactical than I had imagined, with set game plans before matches. The physicality along with the need to think quickly makes it the toughest challenge I have come up against so far, but also strangely, the most rewarding.
The group was more than welcoming and as the sport was open to anyone, it was very inclusive. The Griffins will be aiming for success in the ‘L Tournament’, coming up against London, Leicester and Loughborough on November 15th. From what I saw, they are more than capable of winning the whole damn thing.
Adam Le Roux
Image courtesy of Sam Lewis