Quidditch camp comes to New Zealand

  • 28/01/2017
Quidditch camp  New Zealand
New Zealand quidditch players enjoying a game (Quidditch Association of New Zealand/Facebook)

Muggles rejoice! The Quidditch Association of New Zealand has announced it will be holding its first ever annual Quidditch camp.

Quidditch is a sport based off the Harry Potter universe, beginning in the USA in 2005 and quickly developing a universe of its own.

While the magical version sees witches and wizards take to the skies on flying broomsticks, in the muggle version two teams of seven players, each carrying broomsticks between their legs, compete in a mixture of rugby, dodgeball, and tag - all involving multiple game balls.

President of Quidditch New Zealand Emma Humphrey has been helping to spearhead the sport since the association's beginning in 2016, and is organising the first national event.

"Essentially, I was a big Harry Potter fan. I came to Australia to study and discovered a sport called Quidditch," she says.

"There's now a prominent community outside uni, and when I came back home to New Zealand I stayed in contact with a lot of Quidditch players around the world, and we got together and we developed it here in New Zealand."

The 2017 Quidditch Camp, National Tournament and AGM will be held in Christchurch between February 17 and 19.

It will feature mixed-team tournaments, inter-island face-offs, Quidditch workshops and an AGM to elect the national committee.

Ms Humphrey encourages anyone who's interested to attend.

"I have no doubt about it - personally I think it is a fantastic sport. It's a full contact sport - you don't get that much as a woman," she says.

She has her eye on the Quidditch World Cup and believes New Zealand has the talent to be a genuine threat.

"I absolutely believe New Zealand has the potential to do well, especially as we have the rugby background. It's a combination of dodgeball and rugby, so quite well suited to us," she says.

"It's the whole reason I started up the association in the first place. Getting a rep team is an expensive enterprise so if we strengthen the sport in New Zealand, I reckon within the next two to three years we'll be able to send a team to the World Cup, and in five to eight years we could head the same way as Aussie and win the Cup."

There are now roughly 20 National Quidditch Associations worldwide, with over 10,000 players and 30 to 40 countries actively participating in the sport. Ms Humphrey wants to help grow the sport in NZ.

"The event will help develop the sport and develop the community and created a more connected community," she says.

"There are roughly about 50 players in New Zealand and we've got 15 coming to the camp currently. We're going to reach out to the high schools and universities."

And with preparations for a successful camp firmly underway, you wouldn't want to bet a Galleon against Ms Humphrey leading Quidditch New Zealand to World Cup glory in a few years.