Editor’s Note: Having taken over QP in January, it took us a while to get the ropes, getting to know more people in quidditch on an international scale – and we, the new leadership at QP, are still figuring things out. Though HK’s first match lies a few months back, we are excited about the news that were shared with us recently. We hope to keep expanding on a global scale and are still looking for more helping hands to get you articles sooner. Please message us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us over Facebook or our recruitment page.
By Chris Lau
Quidditch is finally taking off in Hong Kong! The first-ever quidditch match in Hong Kong was held on January 27, 2018 between the local team from the University of Hong Kong (Team HKU) and Seoul Puffskeins, first runner-up of the Asian Quidditch Cup last year. Seoul Puffskeins, with five players from Damansara Dementors in Malaysia joining their team, won two out of the three games played that day.
Team HKU was comprised mainly of players with little or no experience in quidditch. The strong players in their squad include Hongkongers Thomas Au and Keith Jones, Sam Hunter Baxter from the United Kingdom, who is on exchange at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Kait Macdonald, also from the UK.
Seoul Puffskeins had five players from their own team, five from Damansara Dementors, and three mercenaries from Hong Kong. Coming from South Korea were Eunah Choi, Hyunku Kang, Marc Alcalá-Ramos (an exchange student from Catalonia), Sangkyu Kil, and Suwan Cheon. The five experienced players from Malaysia were Andrew Kasimir, Charmaine Goh, Max Goh, Patrick Gonzaga, and Zack Low.
Team HKU and Seoul Puffskeins played three games in total over the course of the afternoon afternoon. With experienced Team HKU players Thomas and Sam missing the game due to referee commitments, Seoul Puffskeins completely dominated the first game, and won by 230*-50.
For the second game, it was Andrew Kornnish’s turn to temporarily leave Seoul Puffskeins’ squad for referee duty. Having Thomas and Sam back in their team, Team HKU won the second match by 90*-40. It was a close game but for the snitch caught by Team HKU.
Seoul Puffskeins displayed their experience and skills in the decisive game and won by 120-40*. With most players having played quidditch only once or twice before, the results were very satisfactory for Team HKU.
After the exhibition matches, a fantasy tournament was played. Players, still not exhausted, were divided into two teams randomly and had a wonderful game.
About the Organisers
The exhibition match was organised by the Fly for Equality project team in the University of Hong Kong. Chris Lau, an HKU student and the coordinator of this project, got financial support from the Stanley Ho Alumni Challenge presented by the 1984 Inclusion Fund to promote quidditch in Hong Kong. With gender inclusiveness as an indispensable element of quidditch, the project is greatly supported by HKU. After his tryout with the London Unspeakables in 2016 and experience as a mercenary player with the ANU Owls in the Asian Quidditch Cup last year, Chris was determined to promote quidditch in his home country. He hopes that the participants’ awareness towards gender equality can be raised and the traditional concept that males and females should play a sport separately can be broken.
Also in the project team is Thomas Au, a very experienced quidditch player. Thomas first played quidditch when he was studying in the University of the West of England in Bristol back in 2014. He was one of the members of the Bristol Quidditch Club where he had chances to play in regional, national, and international matches for two years before graduating and coming back to Hong Kong. He was impressed by the players all over the world who are not afraid to express all facets of their gender identities due to the gender inclusiveness of this sport, making him believe that quidditch values diversity which is a powerful message that can spread to the whole world. Thomas contributed his experience by being the head referee of two matches, sacrificing his own game time. Without a doubt, Thomas will continue to be a great coach to all quidditch players in Hong Kong.
The match could not have been organised without the great help of Willy Tam, who first introduced quidditch to Hong Kong in 2015. He, together with Liona Li, provided great help with the equipment and organisation, as well as the help of many volunteers.
The project was also supported by the HKU Equal Opportunity Unit, HKU General Education Unit, and Sports Association, HKUSU.
After the match – looking back
Six tryout sessions were organised from February to April after the match, and around 20-30 participants showed up each time. There was even enough interest for a Team Hong Kong to be formed for the IQA Quidditch World Cup in Florence, Italy this year, in which we had two wins and finished 25th overall! The Hong Kong Quidditch Association will also be placing a bid for hosting the Asian Quidditch Cup in summer 2019. The exhibition match was truly instrumental in pushing quidditch development in Hong Kong forward!