Team Valhalla will be heading to the Quidditch World Cup in North Myrtle Beach, SC, on April 5-6 PHOTO COURTESY MO WAJA

Seeking the snitch

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By Eman Ali

Two Ryerson students are chasing the snitch all the way to South Carolina (SC).

Mo Waja and Ittaana Krow are competing in the Quidditch World Cup in North Myrtle Beach, SC, on April 5-6.

Waja and Krow are players on Valhalla, a community quidditch team made up of Greater Toronto Area university students and graduates. The team was created in October of last year and worked its way up the ranks to qualify for this year’s World Cup — where they will be facing teams from the United States, Canada and Australia.

While Ryerson does have its own quidditch team, they did not qualify for the World Cup.

Quidditch is a contact sport that combines rugby, basketball, dodgeball and broomsticks. Originally from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the sport has made its way across many university campuses and communities.

“It’s a full contact sport and you will get hurt,” said Krow, a fourth-year business technology management student.

Once skeptical of the sport, Krow was convinced to join Valhalla by fifth-year law and business student Waja — who began playing quidditch after his roommate introduced it to him.

Krow, who read the Harry Potter series three times said he didn’t think of it as a real sport before he began playing it.

“I thought it was just random movements, [but] after the first practice I was hooked,” Krow said.

There are many stereotypes about quidditch and many people wonder if it even constitutes as a sport.

“Once people get past the stereotype that the players are Harry Potter nerds with minimal athletic capabilities, they will learn that it is an athletically demanding sport,” Waja said.

Although many of the players are Harry Potter fans, he said it also requires communication and being aware of your surroundings.

“It was built upon a community that is far more accepting but the players [also] need to athletically capable [to play quidditch],” Waja said.

This is the first year that Krow and Waja are going to the World Cup, but their hopes of winning are high.

“When I go to a competition, I go to win.  If you don’t go to win, you have no business being there,” Waja said.

To people who make fun of the sport, Krow has a message: “I’ll see you on the field.”

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