Unless you’ve spent the past few weeks hiding under a rock, we all know that there are an endless amount of ‘Give it a Go’ (GIAG) society sessions going on around campus. But which one to choose? Rebekah Chapman and Hannah Cowton decided to check out the Quidditch Society.
I’m sure that many of us have often walked past those three elusive blue hoops standing proudly in Hyde Park and wondered, “What on earth is going on?” Or maybe not for all those Potterheads out there! Well, we’re here to tell you.
Quidditch is not for the light hearted. It is a contact sport, reminiscent of both touch rugby and dodgeball combined. Yes, you have to run with a broom between your legs (made of PVC piping bought from any DIY shop), but it does work like a normal sport in its essential rules. (JK Rowling how did you do it?) The society is fitness focused, often organising days out such as hiking trips, as well as training at least twice a week.
As is frequent with the Quidditch society, Leeds were playing a rival team from York at the GIAG. We arrived to find the two large teams (consisting of both the core squad and freshers/new arrivals) split up into three drill stations: tackling, Beater work and Chasing skills. Our Leeds team are currently ranked seventh best nationally, and fourth best in Northern England. You can certainly see how it is an up-and-coming sport, having both national and international acclaim.
That you can, Rebekah! The team itself is made up of seven players. The society has enforced the rule that no more than four people of the same gender can be on the team at one time. This allows a greater gender balance for the sport, and ensures that everyone can get involved regardless of age or ability. In addition, people can switch around between different roles until they find the perfect one to suit their playing style (and yes, if you are a Beater you can chuck balls at people’s faces).
But there is a lot more to Quidditch than just running around with brooms and throwing balls through hoops. The current committee have the unspoken rule of a pub session after every match (a necessity if you are a student in Leeds), and are keen to try out a number of different activities this year, including bowling and other team-building events.
And if you think that you’d just be staying in Leeds as a member of the Quidditch Society, then think again my friend! The squad often travels around the country for regional matches (their first, this year, being in November), and some of the committee have even had the chance to go abroad thanks to connections within the society.
Overall we think that if you’re looking for something quirky, energetic and sociable, Quidditch is the sport for you.
PS. It is not a requirement to be a Harry Potter fan!
Rebekah Chapman and Hannah Cowton
(Images: courtesy of Wizards and Whatnot, playbuzz.com and Melville House Books)