IT’S more commonly associated with the magical world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, but the fast-paced game of quidditch flew into Shropshire for the first time at the weekend.
The daredevil members of TeamUK dropped into Llanymynech and Oswestry to cast their own spell over eight to 14-year-olds who enjoyed a morning of training.
Dreamt up by J. K. Rowling for the award-winning book series, quidditch sees a team of seven flying on broomsticks with the aim of getting as many goals as possible, while one team member – the seeker – tries to catch the illusive Golden Snitch and end the game.
But with a shortage of flying broomsticks the game played by TeamUK involves a slightly different style of play.
Dickon Faux-Nightingale, whose daughter, Alice, is a member of TeamUK, said: “It’s somewhere between rugby and dodgeball; everyone has to hold their broomsticks between their legs which cuts down on the number of hands you have to pass the ball and then you run.
“If you drop your broom you have to go back to your end of the pitch as if you’ve fallen off.
“The snitch is a person dressed in yellow with a tennis ball in a sock attached to their back and the seekers have to get that off him.
“It’s very fast paced and it’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is exciting.”
First created in America nearly a decade ago, the sport was picked up by British universities around four years ago and has quickly grown in popularity with competitions and workshops taking place across the world, while the British Quidditch Cup was held for the first time last November.
Dickon, who lives in Llanymynech, said he was thrilled to bring it to Shropshire for the first time.
He added: “We wanted to make a really big noise about this. It’s a shame we couldn’t get the adult team here for an exhibition match, but we hope to in the future.”
l For more information visit www.quidditchuk.com