On any Sunday afternoon, rain or shine, snowy or clear skies, you can find the Edmonton Aurors Quidditch club, practicing on the field turned pitch just in behind Queen Elizabeth outdoor pool. Most of you will recall the name “Quidditch “ from the Harry Potter series as the most popular sport in the wizard world. With clubs such as the Edmonton Aurors, this formerly fictional sport, has indeed come to life.
“Quidditch is much larger in Eastern Canada than here in Western Canada” described Team Captain, Chris Radojewski who has played for Team Canada. “It has a huge following in the collegiate community in the United States also.”
Chris formerly attended university in Ontario before coming to Edmonton, and noticed immediately the difference of the sport’s popularity in Eastern and Western Canada.
“There are two teams in Calgary, one in Red Deer and us here in Edmonton. I am excited to be involved with the sport as it grows out here. It is still very new here in Western Canada.”
When chatting with the club members, I definitely was curious on how the Aurors started, knowing that there had been a club of sorts a few years ago started at the University of Alberta.
“There used to be a club at the U of A, but there really wasn’t any structure to it; People came and went as they pleased and then it kind of died out,” said Marysia Wojcik, the club’s marketing manager. “The Club’s origins has to do with enthusiasts of the sport involved with Camp FYrefly, who decided to bring the sport to the camp,” Wojcik continued. “Then as the interest grew, the current club became officially formed in August 2014.”
Watching the club practice, I was blown away from the attention to detail that the sport has kept from the pages of J.K Rowling’s novel to the athletes on the field. All players must keep their broom between their legs at all times (something I know I would have serious issues with accomplishing). During practice, just as any other sport club, they begin with warm ups, basic stretching, running, to get them warmed up. The scoring rings, brought every week by players, fastened together by PVC pipes, looking nothing less than something directly from the pages of Harry Potter. The club practices with the majority of players as Chasers (the members who handle the Quaffle, and try to score points via throwing the Quaffle through the rings) and Beaters (defenders of sorts, who use their own ball, the Bludger, to try and impede the progress of the chasers) with members taking turns being the Keeper (the guardian of the rings). If you need a refresh on the entirety of the rules, visit usquidditch.org to find a full comprehensive listing of the rules.
There are approximately ten members of the Edmonton Aurors club, and they are always looking to expand and add more members to the club. Even if you are not familiar with the world of Harry Potter, Quidditch is meant for everyone to participate. If you are interested in finding out more about the Aurors, they are having their Open House on Saturday, May 9th at 1:30pm at the field beside the Kinsmen Field house. I highly suggest that you go and check it out, and at some point, you might just see me running down the pitch with the Quaffle trying to keep my balance on my broom.
Photo credit to Wanderer Sports Editor Josh Connauton