The magic of quidditch is alive and well in Cochrane.
The Cochrane Owls are back on the pitch for a new season full of broomsticks, hoops, and golden snitches.
“This sport is huge!” explains one of the Owls coaches Hirra Memon “Every university pretty much has a quidditch team. Alberta is the only province surprisingly, that has brought it down to a middle school level.”
Quidditch was invented in the popular Harry Potter series and showcases witches and wizards flying around on brooms while trying to score on hoops on either end of the field. The real-life version of quidditch features the same fast-paced action, minus the flying.
Cochrane is one of four locations that host a young quidditch team made up of kids aged 8 to 15. Red Deer, Calgary, and Edmonton are the other locations.
Memon says one of the best features of the sport is the inclusiveness it brings to players. “I'm so happy that we are back and kids are having fun. It’s one of those sports that you don't necessarily need to be very athletic to be a part of quidditch.
“We are more open to anybody who wants to try out something that's not very competitive. It's very easygoing. We have four balls in play at the same time because it's about just having fun trying something new.”
One of the biggest hurdles the sport currently faces is exposure and gaining new players.
“CAES (Cochrane and Area Events Society) has actually invited us to come and do a couple of quidditch drills for Canada Day. If anybody wants to give it a try or they're not sure about it, come on down on Canada Day we will have footage, and a mini set up so everyone can try.”
The Cochrane Owls are planning to partake in several competitions throughout the quidditch season, including a tournament in Edmonton at the end of May.