The UCLA Quidditch team is a 100% student-run organization sponsored by UCLA Recreation/Club Sports. Our program is comprised of almost 40 student athletes divided between two teams: UCLA and Wizards of Westwood. From week-to-week, our members juggle their time between a full course load and various extracurricular activities—all in addition to 4-5 hours of quidditch practice. Though we represent a diversity of academic and individual backgrounds, we take pride in our ability to share a common love for athletic competition mixed with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, the UCLA squad especially has undergone major changes to its roster as we said farewell to a number of seniors from last season. Nonetheless, with the help and guidance of our returning members, we have been able to integrate our new players comfortably into the team. Though we had a rough start to our season, through months of practice and game-play experience, we are proud to say that we have been able to re-establish our team as a powerhouse not only in the Western region but in the entire country as well.
After a several months’ worth of training, sweat, and a little bit of Felix Felicis, UCLA Quidditch was able to qualify for our eighth trip to compete in the U.S. Quidditch Cup, which will take place in Round Rock, Texas in April. Coming from a fantastic Elite 8 finish at last year’s tournament, we look forward to putting all of our hard work to the test against the best in the nation this year. However, the cost of playing at the national level does not come with a college-friendly price tag.
Team expenses of attending nationals last year cost over $15,000, and we expect that number to be just about the same for this year. Between tournament fees, airfare, transportation, housing, and equipment, each player is estimated to contribute around $500. Because our team also receives very little funding from the UCLA Club Sports program, conjuring up this amount of money is easier said than done for our members who are full-time college students first and quidditch players second. We have become such a tight-knit community as a team this year, and we would be devastated if one of our players could not attend the tournament for financial reasons.
We would not have been able to successfully compete at the national level so many times without the support of our countless donors throughout the years. Once again, we are calling on you to help alleviate the financial burden on our players’ budgets and send all 19 of us to proudly represent the Bruins at the national tournament for the eighth time.
Through this year’s fundraising campaign, we are seeking to raise $5,000 to help offset the costs of nationals for our players. With a variety of perks to choose from, we are confident that your contributions—no matter the amount—will help us reach our goal. Every dollar received will go directly towards player expenses for the tournament with any additional money put towards a scholarship fund to further assist those needing it.
From all of us here at UCLA Quidditch, we cannot thank you enough for the endless support you have shown, which has allowed us to continue to keep our program running long and strong. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a new supporter, we appreciate you sticking with us, and we can’t wait to make you proud at nationals this year!
Quidditch was created by Middlebury College students back in October of 2005 by adapting to real life the fictional sport of the same name that was created and popularized by the J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series. Quidditch is a gender inclusive, full contact sport that combines elements of other sports like rugby, basketball, and dodgeball to create a high intensity game that is fun to watch and fun to play.
The following is a quick breakdown on how to play quidditch:
Outside the game, we are always trying to give back to the Los Angels community. We volunteer at schools and events to teach children as young as six all the way through high school about the sport. We bring equipment and show the kids the magic of Quidditch and try to share with them our joy for the sport and also Harry Potter. We also organize team blood drives every quarter in which most of our players participate donating blood at the UCLA Blood and Platelet center.