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Helen Glover

“I play quidditch, which is a game adapted from the Harry Potter novels. It’s often been said that it is a game that turns nerds into athletes and athletes into nerds. Quidditch was created about 10 years ago in the US – it had to be adapted for us ‘muggles’ because we obviously can’t fly. We’ve got a broomstick which acts as a handicap as you have to run around with it between your legs. For the first 17 minutes of the game there are six positions on the field – two beaters, three chasers and one keeper. At the 17 minute mark the Snitch is released. Each team then fields a seeker, whose job it is to catch the Snitch. The Snitch is normally a referee dressed up in yellow with a tail attached by Velcro that you try to grab. It’s a really energetic, active game. Matches can run anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour – it depends on how quickly the Snitch is caught. The other great thing about quidditch is that it is really gender inclusive. There is a rule that there can be a maximum of 4 of one gender on the pitch at one time. I read the Harry Potter books as a kid but playing quidditch is not really about being a fan for me. I’ve played interstate tournaments and earlier this year I went to Malaysia for the Asia Quidditch Cup – the team I was playing with won which was really nice! I currently play with the Western Sydney Spartans. Unfortunately there is no quidditch team based near Willoughby but I’m hoping there will be someday. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in Australia. This year Australia won the Quidditch World Cup! This is really impressive because it’s the first time that the American team has ever been beaten by anyone.” 

Photo: Ron Irving