Over the past few weeks the QuidditchUK volunteer team has undergone some significant restructuring. Longstanding volunteers have moved on, replacements have been found and departments have been reorganised.
Firstly, we say goodbye to Priya Shah who has stepped down as Assistant Director for Gameplay and Events. Priya has done fantastic work in their time with QuidditchUK, taking on the mammoth task of tournament directing BQC not once but twice in 2016 and 2017. Priya will be sorely missed and QuidditchUK wish them the best of luck in their future.
As a result of Priya’s Departure and to improve operational efficiency, Gameplay and Events has been split into two departments- Events, run by Tom Challinor, and Gameplay, headed up by Steve Cockram. Both departments will sit on the Executive Management Team.
Steve has played with teams across the UK, including Bangor, Glasgow, and his hometown of Bournemouth at Dev Cup 2017. Aside from playing, he has also been a non-playing referee for the past season at and has been working to develop refereeing in the UK as part of the Gameplay and Events Department.
Also joining the EMT will be Molly Maurice-Smith who will be filling the Volunteers Director position. Molly has been playing with the Reading Rocs for two years, previously serving as the team’s Welfare Officer and is currently their Secretary. Whilst Reading is their regular team, they have also been competing in QPL with West Midlands Revolution. Molly hopes to make volunteering as enjoyable and accessible as possible, in a sport so dependent on the endless time and effort that volunteers put in. They also hope to increase visibility of the work carried out by the EMT whilst increasing the clarity and depth of communication between the EMT and the wider quidditch community.
The Outreach and Development Department has gained Gavin Hughes as Scotland Expansion manager. Gavin has played for the Falmouth Falcons, whilst also finding time to compete with QPL’s Northern Watch. As well as taking on the role of Captain and coach for Falmouth, he is also involved with quidditch in his home of Scotland, through coaching with the Glasgow Grim Reapers. Gavin hopes to inform his approach to the role from his experiences of quidditch as a Scotsman, with the main aims of: helping foster further cooperation and competition between Scotland’s existing teams with the goal of getting them all to BQC 2018; to investigate the viability of setting up teams in Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness; to encourage more native Scots like himself to become involved in the sport, as they remain a largely untapped demographic, and engaging them will hopefully secure better long-term growth for the sport in Scotland.
Outreach & Development will also be gaining Beth Thompson as Assistant Director of Outreach. Beth joined quidditch with the Leicester Thestrals, acting as their Games Coordinator for 2016/17 and outside of the team was Assistant Tournament Director for BQC 2017. Beth has a strong desire- like many others in the community- to get quidditch more widely accepted across the country, and to work to increase the number of people playing it prior to university, be that through school or college, or other establishments. Beth would like to use their experience of working with children and teenagers of all different ages and backgrounds to see the growth of quidditch.
Finally, as previously announced, James Burnett will be stepping down as Vice-President of QuidditchUK, but in their place we are proud to be able to introduce our new Vice-President, Matt Bateman.
Matt has been playing quidditch for two years- he has previously captained the London Unspeakables, is a member of QPL’s London Monarchs and has helped found and continues to contribute to the international quidditch scene through his work with Quidditch New Zealand.
Matt plans to improve infrastructure in QuidditchUK, building better accessibility and communication channels for the community; as well as improving the level of gameplay and standards of ability across the UK and Europe through programmes and resources. Ultimately, his main aim is to make quidditch a more visible and viable sport for the wider public, working with established partners and introducing ways to increase the competitive legitimacy of quidditch as a sport.