Leicester quidditch players flying high for UK

Posted by am74 at Jul 05, 2012 12:00 PM |
University of Leicester ‘muggles’ selected for international contest of Harry Potter game

Three University of Leicester muggles have made it into the UK's team for the first international quidditch tournament this weekend (July 8).

Players from the University will make up three of the seven members of Team UK, which will represent the nation at the inaugural International Quidditch Association Summer Games in Oxford.

The event will bring together teams from the USA, France, Canada and Australia, who will compete against each other at the game invented by JK Rowling for the Harry Potter books.

Undergraduate students Jack Hill, 20, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, Owain Morris, 20, from Connah's Quay, Flintshire, Wales and Natalie John, 22, from Swansea, South Wales, were selected after impressing officials at Quidditch UK, the national organising body for quidditch.

Another four Leicester players have also made it into the UK squad, including Matt Corbin, 20, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Harry Wells, 18, from Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, Becky Thomson, 19, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and Abbi Harris, 18, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

The University of Leicester players have all been playing in the University’s Muggle Quidditch team, Leicester Lovegoods, against other universities this year.

Magical quidditch involves flying around on brooms, so to adapt it for non-magical play required some creativity on the part of its American pioneers. Players grasp a broom between their legs and try to score points by shooting volleyballs through hoops.

The snitch - a magical golden ball with wings - is replaced by a person all in yellow with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into their belt. Players chase the snitch around the pitch and surrounding areas to score extra points and end the game.

Jack, a second year Ancient History and History student who set up the Leicester Lovegoods and plays as a "beater", said: “We are really pleased to have made it into the UK’s side. We all work well together.

“I am a massive fan of the books. I didn’t think anything like this would happen when I first got the idea to set up our University team.”

Teammate Owain Morris, who plays as a "chaser", said: "It will be an honour to represent my country on the Quidditch pitch. I have found playing for the University to be a fantastic experience.

"When I started playing Quidditch I had no idea that there would be an opportunity to play for my country; therefore I am highly excited to join with players from other Universities in Britain to face Australia, France, Canada and the United States."

The contest will be held at Cutteslowe Park, Oxford, on July 8, with a demonstration held on the evening of July 9 in South Park to coincide with the city's Olympic torch ceremony.

Ends

Notes:

Contact details for the team's founder Jack Hill are available. Please contact the Press Office at pressoffice@le.ac.uk or on 0116 252 2415.

You can read recent news releases by the International Quidditch Association here and here.

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