Wageningen’s quidditch athletes will be competing for the European Quidditch Cup in Oxford on 18 and 19 April. Quite something given that the Wageningen Werewolves, as the team is called, have only been playing competitively for half a year.
There are not that many teams in the Netherlands playing quidditch (a mix between rugby, handball and dodgeball). The game is based on the sport of the same name in the Harry Potter books. ‘There are only a few Dutch teams that play at a high enough level to be able to take part in the European competition’, explains Juliane Schillinger, the captain of the Werewolves (also known as the WURwolves). Although the team has not been around that long, the Werewolves still managed to end up as the best Dutch team last February in a quidditch tournament with teams from Belgium and the Netherlands. That meant they qualified for the European Quidditch Cup 2015.
Because the Werewolves are such a young club, they are not yet part of the student sport foundation Thymos. As a result, the team members have to pay the costs of the journey and the tournament in Oxford themselves. The team were able to cover part of the costs with some light-hearted actions, such as a bicycle wash and a Facebook campaign. Schillinger: ‘We managed to raise 350 euros and we’re paying the rest ourselves. That’s about 100 euros per person.’ 32 teams from all over Europe are taking part in the European Quidditch Cup. The Wageningen Werewolves are not among the favourites. ‘The sport is much bigger in Britain and the competition a lot more competitive,’ says Schillinger. The Wageningen quidditch team mainly wants to see how well it can perform against other beginners.