(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

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by Chilliwack animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for both the shelter and municipal election

VIDEO: Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and the Chilliwack school board election

He said people are making ‘noise about side issues but student safety is important’

Chilliwack athletes win provincial titles at Cultus Lake Triathlon

Close to 700 athletes competed in several distances, with action starting at Cultus Lake Park.

Chilliwack Chiefs add defenceman Alexander Marrocco

Marrocco is the younger brother of PJ Marrocco, a forward from last spring’s RBC Cup champions.

Rally in the Valley in Chilliwack to talk stewardship

It’s an event to connect interested locals with groups making a difference with species at risk

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Possible shooting on Abbotsford street near Aldergrove

Witnesses report what sounded like 4 shots fired Tuesday evening, but that has not been confirmed

5 to start your day

B.C. parents sue after toddler dies in unlicensed daycare, vehicle explodes in Pitt Meadows and more

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Most Read