It’s a typical Sunday afternoon on Memorial Glade. Hula-hoop-like discs are propped on slender posts. Dodgeballs and volleyballs fly through the air. And a group of enthusiastic UC Berkeley students are running around with blue and gold duct-taped broomsticks between their legs. And who are these students? The Cal Quidditch Team.
And they’ve gotten a bid to compete in the World Cup.
This year, the Cal Quidditch team has competed in various tournaments, winning against teams such as UCLA and USC. But now the team is looking to compete in the biggest tournament of them all: the International Quidditch Association’s seventh World Cup. The competition will take place in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., on April 5 and 6 and feature 80 teams from across the United States, Canada and Oceania.
The team, led by co-captains Nick Mertz, a junior nuclear engineering major, and Salvador Sanchez Jr., a senior social welfare major, is gearing up for the tournament with extra practices and new strategies. Mertz says the most exciting part of playing Quidditch is “getting to travel to other schools and play a competitive sport wearing a Cal jersey.”
But as exciting as this all sounds, Cal Quidditch needs all the Felix Felicis (that’s a luck potion for you non-Harry Potter people) it can get in order to fund its trip. Airfare, hotels, registration fees and car rentals add up — and not everyone has a pocket full of Galleons (wizarding currency). So the team has set up a few different ways for students to pitch in.
Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Donate to the team’s indiegogo page, which gives perks to donors such as Cal Quidditch team stickers, patches and the popular “Voldemort Went to Stanford” T-shirts.
2. Buy Cal Quidditch sweatshirts on its Booster page.
3. Watch this YouTube video, and share it on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Share the team’s Facebook page.
5. Purchase a “Voldemort Went to Stanford” T-shirt on Upper Sproul Plaza starting next week.
“There are people on our team who grew up with the books and dreamed of playing Quidditch at the World Cup — just like in “Goblet of Fire,” and any donations can help make those dreams possible,” Mertz said. And as always, new people who are interested in Cal Quidditch are always welcome to join any of the practices they pass by on Memorial Glade.