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Two local players represent Canada at Quidditch World Cup

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Ever wonder how big quidditch actually is?

This coming weekend, two of Edmonton Aurors’ very own, Chris Radojewski (head coach and chaser) and Michelle Ferguson (chaser), will be playing for Team Canada at the International Quidditch Association’s World Cup 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany. Players from all over Canada tried out for an elusive spot on the Team Canada roster. The result is 21 of Canada’s best quidditch players giving it their all to take home first place.

According to Chris, “Team Canada is an experienced team with lots of depth. We are excited going in to the tournament with a team that has incredible skills. Playing a number of other teams from around the world is a great experience for our players, and at the same time we are excited to show them what we can deliver. I am personally very happy to be representing Edmonton and the Aurors in Frankfurt. Thanks to the support of the team, I’ve been able to ensure I am prepared to play.”

On Thursday afternoon in Frankfurt, Team Canada opened the tournament with an exposition game against the United Kingdom National Team, beating out the Brits with a score of 90*-40.

This is a strong start for Chris and Michelle, both of whom had the privilege of representing Canada at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup when it was held on Canadian soil in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Two years ago, Team Canada took third place after losing a spot in the final to Australia’s national team. This year, they hope to make it to the podium once more, maybe even beating out the current quidditch powerhouse, team USA.

To hear Michelle and Chris talk about the upcoming tournament, check out their recent interview with CBC Radio.

If you’d like to follow along, check out @qcteamcanada, @qcscores@QuidditchWC2016, and @quidditchpost on Twitter, or find QuidditchCanada on Snapchat. Also, stay tuned for a follow-up post on the results of Team Canada’s efforts at this year’s World Cup.

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Reflections on a Year of Quidditch

A lot can happen over the course of a year. One year ago, I would not have guessed that I would be where I am now.

So what exactly happened one year ago?

On Canada Day 2015, I finally decided to stop putting off going to my first quidditch practice, something I had been considering for a couple weeks.

When I think about my first quidditch experience almost a year ago, I am not sure what I enjoyed more – the athleticism involved or the community of great people – but one thing is for sure: I was hooked.

I went expecting to play the position of chaser (these players shoot the quaffle through the hoops to score), but after trying different positions, I knew that beating (throwing bludgers to interfere with the other team) was the position for me.

The drills that coach Chris Radojewski showed us helped me gain a basic understanding of the sport. When we moved into a scrimmage I had no idea what to do, but with time and patient instruction from the other players I eventually caught on to how to play quidditch. After that I knew this was a sport I wanted to keep playing, and I immediately signed up for my first tournament less than a month away.

Fast forward a few months and I not only tried out, but actually made it on, the Alberta Clippers competitive quidditch team. I have made incredible new friendships, reached a level of athleticism I never thought possible, and travelled across Canada to play in tournaments. All because I decided to try something new on Canada Day.

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Indiana Nikel represents the Alberta Clippers at the Rocky Mountain Rumble in Kelowna // Photo by Alicia Mills

Interested in giving it a shot? Join us Canada Day at 11:00 am at Hawrelak Park.

Already got Canada Day plans? The Edmonton Aurors play Sundays at 1:30pm and Wednesdays at 7:00pm At Kinsmen park – you’re welcome to come out anytime!

-Brent W., beater

Solsnitch Showdown: Purple Prevails

On Saturday, June 25, players from all over North America convened in Edmonton for Summer Solsnitch, the second annual Canadian Western Fantasy tournament.

Despite a morning of rain, the teams played on and the weather brightened up. Six teams – Red Squadron, Salt City Shakers, Gingersnaps, Teal Titans GO!, Grape Balls of Fire, and Pink Panthers – all competed in a minimum of five games to try to take home the title of Summer Solsnitch champions.

The tournament came down to Red Squadron, led by Michelle Ferguson, against Grape Balls of Fire, led by Hasan Ahmad.  In the end, the first place prize was taken by Grape Balls of Fire with a very close score of 100* to 80.

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The Grape Balls of Fire celebrate Hasan Ahmad’s tournament-winning snitch catch at Canadian Western Fantasy 2016: Summer Solsnitch // Photo by David Chapman

The tournament included three skills contests where players could compete to prove themselves in one of three areas: speed (players must beat a target or score a goal as fast as possible from a brooms-up), all-around skill (players make passes, goals, beats, and a snitch grab as fast as possible), and dunking (players are awarded points for most stylish dunks).

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Christopher Day gets creative during the Solsnitch dunk contest // Photo by David Chapman

Joel Martens took the top speed for a chaser with a time of 4.53, while Jacob Keith had the top speed for beaters at 4.97.  For the all-around skills contest, Hasan Ahmad took first place with a time of 38.13, and the dunk contest was won by Christopher Day with a score of 101 points.

If you’re interested in trying out quidditch, go to quidditchcanada.com or usquidditch.org to find a team near you.

From Edmonton? Meet us at Kinsmen Park on Sundays at 1:30pm and Wednesdays at 7:00pm, or come out to our open house this Canada Day at Hawrelak Park at 11:00 am.

– Brent W., beater

Canadian Western Fantasy 2016 comes to Edmonton

This Saturday, quidditch players from across Canada and as far away as Hawaii will descend on Jasper Place Bowl in Edmonton to compete in the second annual Canadian Western Fantasy. This year’s theme is Summer Solsnitch in honour of Edmonton’s long summer days.

Summer-Solsnitch_Final-Logo

There are two more teams this year than last, bringing the count up to six and reflecting just how much quidditch has grown in Western Canada in only a year.

96 players have been drafted to one of the six teams: Grape Balls of Fire led by Hasan Ahmad, Red Squadron led by Michelle Ferguson, Salt City Shakers led by Cole Li, Teal Titans GO! led by Indiana Nikel, Pink Panthers led by Austin Wallace, and Gingersnaps led by Brent Warwick.

Summer Solsnitch is set to be the biggest, and likely one of the best, fantasy tournaments Western Canada has seen. An event like this is the perfect opportunity to try out the sport for the first time or sharpen your skills for the coming season. My first quidditch tournament was last year’s Canadian Western Fantasy in Calgary. It was through this experience that I was able to grow in my understanding of the sport, as well as improve my skills as a player.

Be sure to come watch on Saturday, June 25 from 9:00am – 6:00pm at Jasper Place Bowl! We will also have free demos at various times throughout the day for anyone wanting to try the sport.

Interested in playing in the tournament? Same-day registration is available from 8:00 am – 8:45 am for a fee of $25. Make sure to bring a white t-shirt that you’re not afraid to get messy, as we will be spray-painting it to designate your team colour.

Check out the Facebook event or website for more info.

– Brent W., beater

Edmonton Aurors take home gold at first home tournament

May 15, 2016 marked a historic day for quidditch in Alberta. Teams from all across Alberta gathered together for Bayonets and Bludgers, the first quidditch tournament ever to be held in Edmonton.

Three teams, the Edmonton Aurors, Calgary Kelpies, and Mudtaurs (a combined team of University of Calgary Mudbloods and Central Alberta Centaurs) all competed to take home the trophy at Borden Park.

Photo by Karelin Victor-Kinzel
Photo by Karelin Victor-Kinzel

The Edmonton Aurors had a rough start, losing their first match of the day 70*-20 to the Kelpies (the * indicates the team that caught the snitch, worth 30 points).

With the bitter taste of defeat, the Edmonton Aurors rallied together. Under direction from coach Chris Radojewski, the Aurors rose to the challenge, winning every other game and taking home the trophy.

If you are interested in playing for the Aurors, join us at kinsmen on Sundays at 1:30 and Wednesdays at 7:00!

– Brent W., beater

Nationals Report

This month, fourteen of the Edmonton Aurors traveled to Kingston, Ontario to play for the Alberta Clippers at Quidditch Canada’s National Championship.  It was a great weekend full of many learning opportunities for our players.

The tournament was incredibly emotional as the Edmonton Aurors gave it their all, playing like they never have before.  It’s clear that they are no longer the same rookies many of them were just a few months ago.

Continue reading “Nationals Report”