THE University of Chester’s Quidditch team have proved that they are all ‘Keepers’ by winning their first national trophy in this year’s British Quidditch Cup (BQC).

This year’s BQC took place in Oxford – where the first ever BQC took place in 2013. Since then, the sport has grown in popularity, and has become increasingly competitive, with 32 teams competing in this year’s national competition. The Cup is organised by QuidditchUK, the official governing body of Quidditch in the UK.

Developed from the fictional game in JK Rowling’s hugely successful series of Harry Potter books, Quidditch is a unisex, full contact sport, of two teams of seven players, played on a hockey rink-sized pitch.

While in the wizarding world Quidditch is played on flying broomsticks, here in the muggle world some adaptations have had to be made.

The main objective is for three chasers and a keeper on each team to get the Quaffle (a volley ball) through hoops at opposing ends of the field. Meanwhile, two Beaters defend their team by hitting the opposition with a dodge ball. The Seeker’s aim is then to catch the Snitch (a player in yellow clothing with a ball in a sock on his back) to gain 30 points and end the game.

Quidditch has been a sport at the University of Chester for five years, and the university’s team is called the Chester Centurions. This year the Centurions are thrilled to have come home from the British Quidditch Cup victorious.

Lucy Turnell, President of Chester Centurions, said: “This is the first trophy that we have won at a national event and we couldn’t be more thrilled! The Team is run by myself and captained by fellow student Connor Climo.

“The tournament is split into two - the upper bracket teams and lower bracket teams.

We came first in the lower bracket and we are now ranked 17th in the UK, out of 46 teams.”

The tournament took place over two days, with Chester’s team facing a number of Quidditch sides from across the UK – the London Unspeakables, Tornadoes Quidditch Club (York), the Bournemouth Banshees, Portsmouth Horntails, Bangor Broken Broomsticks and the Durhamstrang (Durham University’s Quidditch team).

The Centurions then faced the Manchester Manticores (the University of Manchester’s Quidditch Club) in the lower bracket (consolation bracket) final – where they beat them 60*- 40 (the asterisk denotes the team which caught the golden snitch).

Sarah Latham, Chester Students’ Union Student Activities Manager, said: “Quidditch at the University of Chester has exploded in popularity in recent years, with the quirkiness of the sport appealing to many students.

"BQC is the most anticipated event for the Quidditch team, so to come away with a trophy is a great achievement!”