We are Olympians Quidditch Club. We are a community Quidditch team that came into being in the early Summer of 2019, when a group of graduating and post-graduate quidditch players from primarily the University of Manchester decided to set up our own community team in the North of England. We put out feelers and were soon joined by a large contingency of graduate and post-graduate players from Leeds, as well as many older players from around the North.
As a new team set up by older players for older players, we reviewed the condition of the sport in our local area (North of England); and we noticed a decline in the number of players in local University teams. We then decided to create and implement our club’s ethos: We love playing Quidditch and want to play against competitive teams. We can only compete against competitive teams if there are teams to play against, therefore we must do everything we can as a community team to help maintain and grow our local Quidditch community.
So, before we had even played our first match as Olympians Quidditch team, we began our initial plan to help boost the competitiveness of the North by sharing out our team’s collective knowledge to local uni teams who have lost players to graduation. We did this with four main strategies;
1) We accepted no applicants who were still studying at a university as an undergraduate (this was as not to encourage people to leave their uni teams to join us)
2) We sent out experienced club members to help with University taster sessions and fresher fairs (as a club we attended 10 of these in our first half of the 2019 season)
3) We have been holding joint training sessions where our coaches can lead drills and give individual advice (we’ve held 6 of these in the first half of the 2019 season with some more already scheduled for the second half)
4) Finally, out most flashy effort. At the beginning of the season, we hosted the Odyssey Freshers Tournament- a tournament that we designed to give the new intake from University teams a chance to play competitively at a reasonable level, before being thrown into the regional tournaments. As a team, the Olympians abstained from playing and instead ensured that we could fully cover the volunteering (we also had some notable exceptions from outside the team who volunteered) and run skill and specific workshops to help get the uni freshers up to speed.
We plan to continue to find ways to help and benefit our Northern Neighbours
Moving on to our first team outing, with only 2 months of training together as a team, we entered into Northern Regionals 2019. We were already in high spirit as our kit (designed by Utility Apparel) had earlier been announced as being in the top 10 kits in the UK by the Only Boundary’s article, despite us having never played in it before.
As Olympians Quidditch, we entered our first tournament unseeded and pitted against the previous year’s 3rd place winner in the group stages. Unsure ourselves about how our untested team would fair, we not only managed to top our group, but also won silver at Northern 2019. This gives us the opportunity to play to compete at the European Quidditch Cup. We can’t wait to be able to show off our shiny kit across Europe!
Cover Photo Credit: The Dislodged Hoop