Hong Kong’s Only Quidditch Club Hopes to Promote Gender Inclusivity in the City
The University of Hong Kong Quidditch Club may only contain 21 members, a modest amount compared to some of the most well-attended elite clubs in the world, but this hasn’t stopped the players from competing at the sport they love.
The club was started in 2016 by a group of friends but managed to attain HK$9,000 (US$1,150) in funding from the university. This allowed the club to host its first-ever exhibition matches and even gain a win against the Seoul Puffskeins, the runner-up at the Asian Quidditch Club last year.
The matches were organized by the Fly for Equality project team, of which Chris Lau Kwun Shing is the coordinator. With support from Hong Kong University, the project seeks to promote gender inclusivity and break down conventions of gender-segregated sports.
Gender inclusivity is one of the keystones of quidditch and this is something that has resonated with the club’s members, including Rebecca Wang, who remarked that the variety of types of players who can become involved means that there’s “no ideal quidditch player.”
Despite this progress, recruitment difficulties still plague the club. Lau believes that this is partly down to the premise behind the sport.
Asking your friends to join you in holding a pole between your legs as you run around chasing some balls might seem silly. People may respond with rasied brows and funny looks, or even ridicule you.
Lau further believes that instead of seeing quidditch as an offshoot of the Harry Potter novels the focus should be shifted to the serious tactical and fitness aspects of the sport.
You need to be very fit if you want to play at a high level, but if you’re just playing for fun, then no particular fitness level is required.
The club is a reflection of the progress of Muggle quidditch in Asia. At the World Cup in Florence, Italy, Hong Kong brought its first ever squad to compete, including six players from the University of Hong Kong team, alongside other debuting teams such as Malaysia and Vietnam.
Lau is proud of the team’s efforts that saw them come 25th out of 29 teams, winning two out of six matches, but ultimately hopes that Hong Kong’s participation on the global stage will raise awareness of the sport and recruit some new players for the club.
Interested in finding out more about quidditch in Hong Kong? Check out the club’s website for further details.