(Photo: Flickr/Quidditch Canada) Game action from the 2016 Quidditch Canada Western regionals, held in Surrey.

VIDEO: B.C. city to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Quidditch isn’t just for those at Hogwarts anymore.

And, for the second time, a tournament is coming to Surrey, when the city will play host to the Western Regional Quidditch Championships in 2019 after winning its bid.

The event is set to take place at Hjorth Road Park (10275 148th St.) on Nov. 9 and 10 in 2019, Quidditch Canada announced on Aug. 10.

The sport is becoming more mainstream, if you ask Sachin Kotecha, bidding and league tournament manager for Quidditch Canada.

“It’s definitely more known now, but you still definitely get the looks of surprise and there are still people who are very surprised it’s a sport,” he told the Now-Leader.

“The question you always get is, ‘Do you fly?’ Unfortunately, no,” Kotecha laughed.

What started as a fictional game in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has become a popular sport around the world, with an estimated 600 athletes in Canada alone.

Quidditch involves two teams, made up of at least seven players, who must mount broomsticks at all times during play.

There are four main positions: Chaser, beater, keeper and seeker. The goal of the game is to score more points that the opposing team.

Kotecha said he got involved with Quidditch Canada after playing in his first and second year of university.

“It was just something different, and something I had heard about,” he told the Now-Leader.

“Also, I think the concept that it’s a mixed-gender, full-contact sport was pretty unique and interesting. And I heard it had a great community, so that drew me into the sport.”

Kotecha said the vast majority of teams competing in Quidditch Canada events are from universities, with a few community teams in the mix.

“We’re working, though, to create interest at a younger level,” he said, noting some cities are already working hard to generate that interest.

“So Guelph, (ON) they have one of the most developed programs,” said Kotecha.

“Good partnerships with elementary schools in the region and youth summer camps, so lots of sessions for younger kids to teach them how to play. It’s pretty common in Alberta, too.”

Currently, no teams are registered in Surrey, he noted.

“The UBC team would be the closest,” said Kotecha. “But there could be, because this tournament is two years down the road. If there’s interest, check out our website, quidditchcanada.com. We will always help teams get started.”

Kotecha said hosting these events is becoming “very popular” for cities across the country because “it’s very different” and “gets a younger audience, too.”

“I’ve worked with cities across Canada,” he said. “And this isn’t actually the first time it’s come to Surrey. Surrey hosted this exact same event two years ago.”

That event was the runner-up for the City of Surrey’s inaugural Sport in the City Award.

“So we are definitely getting more recognition,” Kotecha said of Quidditch Canada, which was formed in 2014 to “lead, promote and advance the sport of quidditch in Canada.”

Kotecha noted planning the events two years in advance “brings us in line with other Canadian sport organizations” and “allows our host cities to have more time to help us create memorable events.”

Quidditch Canada says it’s the first quidditch organization in the world to successfully implement a multi-year bidding cycle.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner expressed her excitement about the event in a statement, saying the 2019 tournament will be a “unique opportunity for us to host a growing sport with a dedicated community of players.”

“It is also a chance to showcase the game to those not familiar with it,” she added, “and hopefully inspire a few to take up this fun and inclusive sport.”

Meantime, the University of Victoria will host the 2018/19 Western Regional Championship on Nov. 10 and 11 this year.

McMaster University in Ontario will host the 2019 national championships on March 23 and 24 next year.

And, the University of Alberta will host the following years’ national tournament, on March 28 and 29, 2020.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Maple Ridge moving on rec pot bylaw

Back for third reading a day before legalization in Canada

OCOP: ‘Hiring without boundaries’

Brody McDearmid is putting a focus on hiring people with disabilities at Meridian Meats.

Children getting too much screen time

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

Start of the weekend will be a wet one in Maple Ridge

Weather statement from Env. Canada for Friday

Maple Ridge will vote on garbage pickup this election

Plebiscite will piggy-back on to civic vote

VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city residents back after flash flood Friday

Mayor though says they shouldn’t have to go back

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Volunteer-based safety team gets city funding to continue work in Vancouver

Good Night Out is a non-profit society that works to keep people safe at night on Granville Strip

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

5 to start your day

National forecaster issues rainfall warning, three crashes in Metro Vancouver overnight and more

Burnaby RCMP investigating ‘serious’ rollover crash

Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, police said a truck crashed closing Lougheed Highway

Man dead after being hit by 2 vehicles on Highway 10

Pedestrian in his 50s has died after being hit by two vehicles, one of which stayed: Surrey RCMP

1 person dead after crash on Highway 17 in Delta

Footage from the scene shows a mangled white truck that appears to have slammed into a barrier

Most Read