This article was submitted by Duy Le, a Masters student in the School of Psychology.


 

Have you ever heard of quidditch? You might be thinking about Harry Potter, right? But I mean, the real-life quidditch without any magic. You don’t know it yet? Alright, let me tell you a story about how this sport has made my time in Australia so enjoyable and meaningful.

I come from Vietnam, where soccer is the most popular and beloved sport. And I am a soccer lover myself. So, in the first week of semester, I decided to join a soccer event on campus to stretch my legs a bit. Through my friend’s Facebook wall, I also caught another sporting event: ‘quidditch’.

“These people look so funny with a broomstick between their legs,” I thought. But that event was on the same day as the soccer one, and I am also a fan of Harry Potter, so I thought, “Well, let’s give it a try!” And on that day, I found my sport of passion.

 

Credit: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

 

After one year continuously playing quidditch, I finally figured out why it is so enjoyable to me. The first reason is that its gameplay is so diverse. That is understandable, since it has five balls of three types on the pitch at once! To score, you need to put a ‘quaffle’ through the opposite team’s hoops, and at the same time avoid three ‘bludgers’ from their furious beaters’ hands, and make sure your team catches the ‘snitch’ for extra points to win. No two quidditch matches ever happen the same way, and you will always find something new to enjoy and someone better to compete with.

Second, quidditch is one of the most inclusive sports in the world. Everyone of different ages, genders, sporting backgrounds and physical builds can play and enjoy quidditch. Being a quidditch player makes me feel like I am immersed in a very colourful society, and I really like that.

Finally, quidditch always shows our humanity. Quidditch matches are sometimes tough, but quidpeople almost always treat others with respect and kindness. I can hardly recall any fight or unsporting behaviours on the pitch since the first day I played it. To me, this sport is just amazing.

 

Credit: University of Newcastle Quidditch Club

 

If there is one thing that I enjoy more than playing quidditch with my teammates, it is hanging out with them. As I am a research student, I mainly spend time in my office studying things, and this can sometimes be isolating. The club has given me nice people to socialise with, and a great community to which I feel I belong. We play, talk, eat and do silly things together. It is my teammates who taught me how to tell a Brooklyn Nine-Nine joke, drink a jagerbomb shot, and eat a pie without using a spoon.

Sometimes, I just sit still, enjoying their argument about whether pineapple pizza is good or bad. And our monthly and yearly trips to other regions for state and national tournaments have made us close to each other. I feel safe and excited at the same time being with them, and it is fair to say that the club has made this life chapter of mine much more delightful.

As this is the last stage of my program at the university, I only have one year left to play quidditch in Australia. But quidditch never stops. This sport is now being played in Vietnam. Although it is still new there, I believe Vietnamese young people will love it no less than I do. And who knows? Maybe some day I will reunite with my very own UON broomers, competing with them in an international tournament alongside my Vietnamese teammates.

 

Credit: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

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