Leicester Lovegoods Ready For Keele Encounter - University Of Leicester Muggle Quidditch Club
University of Leicester Muggle Quidditch club heads to Keele University this Saturday for first match of the season
It's a game usually played by fictional wizards on flying brooms, but that hasn't stopped enthusiastic fans developing Quidditch into a real, non-magical sport. Now the sport is taking off amongst University of Leicester students, and the Muggle Quidditch Club will travel to Keele University this Saturday for their first match.
The match will be the first inter-university contest in the UK played to the official IQA (International Quidditch Association) rules. The Leicester Lovegoods will take to their brooms against rivals Avada Keeledavra for a best-of-three competition.
Second year student Jack Hill, who formed the University of Leicester Muggle Quidditch Club, is looking forward to the game this Saturday 10 March.
Jack said: "We're all really excited for the match, we've been training pretty much non-stop over the last week, and are doing so again this week. The Lovegoods are definitely ready to wipe the floor with Keele; our team will not take defeat as an answer."
Jack Hill and the team decided to play according to the official IQA rulebook after seeing the success of the IQA in America, where the sport was first developed. They have high hopes for the fledgling Leicester team.
"One of our long term aims is to compete as the first UK team in the Quidditch World Cup which is held annually," Jack said. "So naturally IQA rules would enable us to achieve this in the long run. We decided to play by IQA rules so that we can connect in a way with our American counterparts and truly capture the spirit of Quidditch."
Rob Barringer, Assistant Coach of the Keele University team Avada Keeledavra, has been preparing his team for the encounter.
"Keele Quidditch is extremely excited about the upcoming match against the Leicester," Rob said. "We've been putting in a few more days' practice this week with some fitness drills, so we should be able to produce a bit of a spectacle on Saturday. We're looking forward to seeing how Leicester cope against us, and for their sake I hope they're ready!"
Rob is keen to draw attention to the novel sport and hopes it will take off across the UK. Several UK universities have already established Quidditch teams.
"Hopefully we'll pull a bit of a crowd on Saturday and show people what Quidditch is all about, fun and competitiveness, rather than the stereotypical view of Harry Potter addicts running around in capes!" Rob said.
Unlike the fictional version, Muggle Quidditch is played on the ground: 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.
University of Leicester students are enthusiastic about the sport's social and health benefits. Luke Hubbard, a second year Criminology student, said: "I joined Quidditch because I'm a massive Harry Potter fan. It's a sport with no try-outs, so anyone can just turn up, have fun, and meet new people. It's a good way to keep fit as well."
Owain Morris, a second year History student, added: "I joined because my friend in York Uni kept saying it was really fun, and it seemed like a different type of sport and I really wanted to try it."
The match takes place at Keele University on Saturday 10 March at 1pm, on the University sports field.
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