At Queen’s, Quidditch has had a notable effect on the landscape of club athletics, and the team is working to recruit more athletes who are interested in the sport.
For Bella Rose, ArtSci ’23, treasurer and chief safety officer for the club, seeing the Quidditch team at Queen’s in The Park in her first year was a surprise.
“I have been a huge fan of Harry Potter for most of my life, I saw the ad and I asked, ‘you guys actually run with brooms?’ and the exec members said ‘yes,’” Rose said.
At that time, there was a competitive tryout process for students to join the team. However, this process has since been halted due to a decline in student interest in the sport.
“We have kind of disbanded the tryout process due to COVID-19 and student interest,” Rose said.
“At the tryout we did running drills, throwing drills, catching drills, and a little bit of contact to make sure anyone who tried out was comfortable with contact and could safely initiate contact.”
This year the current executive is looking forward to building the team up again.
“Our team was decimated. [The club] only has five executive members as opposed to the original nine. We are trying to recruit as many people as we possibly can and teach as many people as we possibly can how to play properly,” Rose explained.
Rose said Queen’s has a colourful past with Quidditch, which is full of student involvement and the incubation of home-grown athletes being fed to larger quidditch teams.
“I actually heard about Quidditch at Queen’s through an employee of my mother’s. That employee’s brother started the Quidditch team at Queen’s in about 2005,” Rose said. “Quidditch wasn’t fantastically popular at Queen’s until the 2010-20 decade.”
“Some big Quidditch players have come from Queen’s—we are actually a feeder team for the Quidditch Canada team. The sport is a bit more serious than people think it is,” Rose said.
For individuals hoping to get involved with Quidditch at Queen’s, Rose emphasizes that it’s possible for almost anyone to join.
“The varsity clubs at Queen’s [only] require that you be a student or faculty member [or a spouse of one] and that you have a valid ARC membership,” Rose said. “Oftentimes, people still play with us post-graduation and they come back during their graduate work.”
Rose also included that Quidditch at Queen’s is an inclusive community that respects individuals from all backgrounds.
“We actually have gender rules. You have to have at least two non-male identifying players on the field. This is inclusive of anyone who uses they/them pronouns or any combination of pronouns,” Rose said.
According to Rose, Quidditch is a sport that is meant for anyone who wishes to have an athletic outlet, rather than being a sport exclusive to competitive athletes.
“You don’t have to be a fantastic marathon runner, amazing athlete, or even varsity-quality athlete. You just have to be willing to put it all on the field,” Rose said.
Rose said being a part of the Quidditch team has allowed her to find a community and a sense of mental well-being.
“The members of the Quidditch team are like-minded people, we call ourselves the ‘athletic nerds.’ The people I was surrounded by in my first year had a huge positive influence on my mental health,” Rose said.
The Quidditch executive team is currently in the process of planning the return to sport. Students interested in playing have until Oct. 1 to reach out to the Quidditch team through Facebook or email, which can be found on the ARC website.
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