Sports | DrumhellerMail
Last updateWed, 15 Aug 2018 11am

New quidditch club looks for Potter fans to play


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Get your broomsticks ready, muggles – quidditch is coming to the badlands.

Organizers are preparing to start the Badlands Quidditch Club and bring quidditch to the area, a sport dreamt up by author J.K. Rowling for her mega-popular Harry Potter book and movie series.

“The Harry Potter factor is a very big thing for us, but we’re also finding people  come out to try the game, that they enjoy the game – they haven’t even read the books. They try it and stick around,” says Ricky Boyce of Hanna, lead organizer and head coach of the club.

While players lack the magic to be able to fly around like it is done in the Harry Potter universe, the sport has been played by ordinary muggles like the fantasy sport. To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle (ball) into one of three opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points. The opposing chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing players as well as using dodgeballs to temporarily eliminate players. While this game goes on, the seekers, maybe the most favoured position because this is what Harry did in the series, chase the ‘golden snitch.’ While in the movie, this was a magic ball with wings, the golden snitch role is performed by a player in a yellow uniform and a ball hanging off their waist. If either team’s seekers can grab this ball, the game ends and their team is awarded an additional 40 points. Whichever team has the most points wins.

“It’s so much fun – I’m highly addicted to it, and there’s no cure,” Boyce says. “I’m hoping there are a lot of people who will benefit from this. We’ve found those people who didn’t know they could be such good players, but they were interested in the Harry Potter aspect of it, later on found themselves thinking that ‘maybe I’m good at other sports, too.’”

“I think it’s another great opportunity to get active,” says Drumheller Family and Community Support Services’ April Harrison, who helped organize a Harry Potter 20th anniversary celebration and quidditch match last year. “I think so many young people had a good time last year.”

The club hopes to start by creating youth and adult teams to compete with other existing clubs in Alberta. There are regularly tournaments around central Alberta, and later on Boyce says they hope to host their own tournament in Hanna.

He says quidditch is also gender inclusive, with males and females playing together in co-ed teams.

“Everybody gets along and everyone has a spot in quidditch. It’s one of the first sports I’ve been a part of that’s equal for everyone.”

Boyce says the sport started in 2005 and has taken off since then, with quidditch clubs popping up in cities and towns around the world. He says Team Canada recently competed in the world championships in Italy and the team included three Alberta players. He says small towns have undiscovered talent they hope to tap into.

The club will be joining the national Quidditch Canada organization as well as the Central Alberta Quidditch association, with plans to compete against other Albertan teams and maybe even nationally depending on their success.

The Badlands Quidditch Club will be holding a registration night in Hanna at the Community Centre on Tuesday, August 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. Those who can’t make it that night can email the club at

Their first practice will be on September 11 at the outdoor fields of J.C. Charyk School in Hanna. Organizers play throughout the winter and spring, with the Town of Hanna donating rec centre space for the club to play in once the snow falls.

Lost Egg disc golf tournament ranks swell to 150

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This weekend a different kind of golfer will be taking over the small community of Wayne, not with clubs, but with flying discs.
    August in the valley means the return of the Lost Egg Classic. The disc golf tournament began almost two decades ago. The look and the locations have changed, but it has has spent the last nine years being played out at the permanent disc golf course in Wayne.
     Craig Burrows-Johnson says the Wayne event is a Professional Disc Golf Association sanctioned event.
    “Sanctioned means all the information on this tournament goes world wide. The tournament results are posted and the players all get a rating and are put into divisions,” he said.
This year they are expecting their best turnout ever with over 140 players committed to coming.This is the first time they have has to put in two flights. While organizers had to cap registration, he still invites residents to come out and see what disc golf is all about.
    “Why are we doing this? One, is to promote the game of disc golf and get the community interested in playing, and two, are the players,” said Burrows-Johnson. “There are players who want to come and play in this particular course and its unique landscape.”
    “It is a full 18 (holes or targets), beautifully unique and challenging course. It has literally gotten international fame from the videos that have been posted. Players from Europe will contact us wanting to know about the course.”
He says they are players from Alberta B.C. And Saskatchewan expected to come and play, and maybe a few from the United States. He expects a few local players as well.
The action starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 4 and wrap up Sunday afternoon.
    “Some of the best players anywhere are coming to this event,” said Burrows-Johnson. “There is going to be some fantastic disc golf if the public wants to come and observe and learn more about the sport.”
The future of the sport in the valley also appears to be strong. Burrows-Johnson said they have approval for a second course at Midland Provincial Park.
     “Going forward, we see nothing but growth for the sport in the valley because of the landscape and all the other attractions,” he said.
    “We have designed and are now starting to build a second course and we will be able to double the size of the event. The second course at Midland is equally spectacular in terms of the landscape and it will be world class,” he said.
He says they are exploring the possibility of a third course, and that would make it possible to host the national championships.
    “That would attract in excess of 500 players,” said Burrows-Johnson.

Local artist paints tribute mask for Humboldt Bronco, former Dragon

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A former Drumheller artist has created a goalie’s mask for a Humboldt Broncos player to honour the 16 victims killed in the April 6 bus crash.

Morgen Schinnour, who grew up in Drumheller but now runs Schinny Designs, a full-time custom mask art business in Lethbridge, was asked to paint a mask by goalie Dane Dow, 19, who was acquired by the Broncos from the Drumheller Dragons this summer after their former goalies Parker Tobin was killed and Jacob Wasserman was paralyzed in the crash.

“It was an honour to be asked to paint this for him,” Schinnour says.

She says Dow came to her saying he wanted the Humboldt logo, his last name on the chin, and a green and yellow ribbon on the side. She ended up adding the horse logo on the other side of the mask. She decided to also add the names of all 16 players who were killed in in a pearl paint which gives it a ‘ghosted’ look where the names are only visible at certain angles of light.

“When he contacted after we found out he’d been traded by the Dragons, I was sad he got traded because it meant the mask I had painted for him before needed to be sanded off and re done, but in the long run it was good because I was able to create this for him.”

She says he was looking forward to wearing it when their season starts this September.

“He’s a very quiet guy who doesn’t have many words, but he’s really happy about it,” Schinnour says.

The mask has also gained the attention of media around Saskatchewan, with her saying she’s been busy with interviews all week.

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