CARLETON QUIDDITCH CLASHES AT REGIONALS

This article was originally published in The Charlatan on the 25 November 2016.

The realm of magic and wizardry was brought into the real world from Nov. 12-13 in Mississauga, as the Carleton University Quidditch team competed at Quidditch Canada’s Eastern Regional Championship against other universities from Ontario and Quebec.

Quidditch is a co-ed sport where participants run with a broomstick in between their legs, in order to emulate the sport seen in the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling. The sport is also full-contact, which is something Jessica Mulvihill, the vice-president of Carleton University Quidditch, said she relishes.

“I like how it’s a gender-inclusive sport and I do like the physical aspects of it,” she said. “But I think my favourite thing about Quidditch is the community, because honestly there isn’t a ton of people who know about it, it’s very close-knit.”

At the Eastern Regional Championship, Carleton finished seventh out of 14 teams, and Mulvihill said she believes the result was one the team could build on moving forward.

“As a team, we did get a ton of new players, so it’s kind of been a regrouping year,” Mulvihill said. “But we are a growing team, and have done better in past years, but we’re kind of in transition and still ready to compete moving forwards.”

The regionals tournament was run by Quidditch Canada, the main organization behind the sport at the interuniversity level, but in order to get games, universities organize their own tournaments, according to Mulvihill.

“We hosted a tournament recently here at Carleton, and it’s through Quidditch Canada, but we are the ones booking fields, we’ll book tournament directors and kind of make sure it runs all smoothly,” Mulvihill said, “There’ve been tournaments at Guelph and McGill, and there’ll be a couple of others before nationals, which this year is in [British Columbia].”

The national tournament is currently set to take place in the first week of April, though funding to make the trip may be tough to come by, according to Wesley Mackie, the president of Carleton University Quidditch.

“We are pretty much self-funded at this point,” Mackie said. “We were hoping to get competitive club status with our university, but unfortunately we were not accepted, which took out funding that the club had received in the past.”

However, assistant coach Zoe Mastellotto said the club has ways of dealing with this.

“We apply for funding from [Carleton University Students’ Association], and we also do our own fundraising,” Mastellotto said. “In the past we’ve done Indiegogo, books, sold t-shirts and ran bake sales.”

“We also get funding from other Quidditch clubs, because the sport has a really small, community feel still, so clubs will help fundraise for each other, because they want to see everyone come out,” she said.

According to Quidditch Canada, a total of 25 teams across the country are registered with the organization. Mulvihill said she has seen the sport expand and believes it is increasing in popularity.

“It probably started off with more Harry Potter fans, but now we have more athletes coming out who don’t even know anything about the books and just come for the physical aspect,” she said. “We have rugby players who’ve come and love the sport.”

Mackie also said he has seen the sport grow recently.

“Quidditch is a sport that allows for quite the diversity of interests and personality, which has helped bring Quidditch from being a relatively unknown sport to a sport that now makes CTV News,” he said.

“The main reason why I love Quidditch is because out of all the sports I’ve played and all the clubs I’ve been a part of, none have made me feel as welcomed and included as Quidditch has.”

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