Bury St Edmunds: Fictional sport comes to a school near you

A MAGICAL sport has reached beyond pages of a book and the cinema screen.

They may not be able to fly, but sixth form students at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds have embraced quidditch, the popular sport from the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter fans Sam Mortimer and Harry Boulter, both 17 and in upper sixth, decided to bring a simplified version of the sport - which is popular in American universities - to their school.

Last week the new sixth form students played quidditch on the first day of the new term.

Mr Boulter said: “I was watching some stuff on YouTube and just thought if universities in America can do it why can’t a small rural town do it?”

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He added how it was great for getting the sixth formers involved in a different sport which most people would enjoy.

Miss Mortimer said once people got on board and grasped the rules it went really well.

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“Of course, you get silly, but a lot of people really got into the idea of being on their broomsticks.”

She explained how there are seven players in each team made up of a keeper, a seeker, three chasers and two beaters.

The chasers have to get the quaffle (a football) through the opposing team’s hoops, drawing a similarity with basketball, while beaters throw bludgers (dodgeballs) at them.

The seekers run after the snitch - which is a magical ball which moves on its own - but in this version a snitch runner takes on the role of the ball.

The game ends after a predetermined amount of time or when the snitch is caught.

Geoff Barton, headteacher at King Edward VI School, said it was great to see upper sixth students organise the event for the new sixth form students.

He said: “I think what young people remember about school is not always the stuff that goes on in the classroom.”

“It’s sending out a message doing silly things is something people of all ages do. It isn’t that idea that some people are too cool to play a game like that. It’s quite the opposite really.”

An International Quidditch Association exists and is dedicated to governing the sport of quidditch and inspiring young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives.

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