(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Climate change event coming to Kelowna next Wednesday

Panel experts will discuss how the Okanagan can adapt to climate change in the years ahead

Police search for owner of another icy sailboat on Okanagan Lake

The frozen vessel was spotted near the 800 block of Manhattan Drive in Kelowna

Chilliwack on the map for Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Canadian music legends confirmed for 28th annual music festival

Central Okanagan film “Love in Winterland” released on demand

The movie was produced up at Big White late last year

Kelowna author Irwin Wislesky to release science-fiction novel on time travel

Invisible Footprints in Time follows Maxine Samuels and her quest back in time to save the future

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

North Okanagan woman pleas for return of stolen scooter

‘It’s been another kick in the teeth… how do you get ahead and keep your head above water?’

Volunteer spends hundreds of hours restoring piece of railway history

Revelstoke Railway Museum now home to an authentic Kalamazzo No. 2 Section Handcar

Future of Penticton francophone school secured following funding announcement

$11.5M in funding means École Entre-lacs now independently owned and operated

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

City of Vernon to redirect reclaimed water into Okanagan Lake

MacKay Reservoir nears capacity; city to reflow water into lake near Kin Beach

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Most Read