Quidditch and travel money is not a combination you would necessarily put together on first thoughts but among Compare Holiday Money’s sponsorships we are proud to support the Falmouth Falcons Quidditch team.
There has been a competitive Quidditch league in the UK since 2016 and longer in other countries, born from the fictional game in the Harry Potter books it is a fast paced, tough game and if you are crying out for more info then it’s here!
The Falmouth Falcons team is made up from players at the university in Falmouth, Cornwall and they have provided us with a winter update:
The Falmouth Falcons Quidditch Update: Winter 2018
The Falmouth Falcons have had an unusually quiet beginning to the season. The team finds itself in a unique situation, one it hasn’t yet faced in its five years of existence; due to a combination of injury, travel distance, expense, and a lack of numbers, it is currently unable to play competitively.
Whilst last year the Falcons had an impressive run at Highlander, finishing in fifth place, this October players had to miss out. It is the first time that Falmouth have pulled out of the invite-only tournament, but the gap they left will hopefully have allowed other clubs to step up and gain valuable experience.
As a member of QuidditchUK, the team had the opportunity to make up for their absence in Edinburgh at the Southern Cup. Held at the end of November, it is an important part of the Quidditch season, as it is the only means by which to qualify for the British Quidditch Cup later in the year. In 2017/18, the Falmouth Falcons were the lower bracket victors at Southern and were ranked 12th in the country after an astonishing performance at BQC. Unfortunately the team will be unable to better these standings as they withdraw from Southern, the result of huge travel distances and injury, and therefore will also not be able to qualify for the British Quidditch Cup in 2019.
However, hopes could be restored with the Development Cup in March next year. This will be another first for the team, as it hasn’t ever had to miss regional qualifiers or BQC. The tournament is designed to give emerging clubs the time and space to practice their gameplay in a competitive but less intense environment, against teams with similarly matched ability levels. It also allows teams who did not qualify for the British Quidditch Cup to attend a QuidditchUK official tournament and improve their skills for the following season.
Taking part in the Development Cup will give the Falcons something to train towards over the winter months. Since the disintegration of the South West League (which last year saw the team play against Swansea and Portsmouth) there have been very few friendly matches between clubs. Without any competitive fixtures it is difficult to track progress and improvement; this is something the team hopes to remedy by inviting the Bournemouth Banshees to Falmouth for a weekend practice in early 2019, and is also in the midst of organising further events with Quidditch teams closer to Cornwall.
Quidditch training and skills development
In the meantime, the Falcons will be focusing on improving individual skills in passing and tackling, led by the capable Reuben Thompson, who brings with him from Team UK a wealth of tactical knowledge and in-game expertise. Over the summer he represented the United Kingdom in the Quidditch World Cup in Florence, falling just short of medalling after a closely fought third place playoff against Turkey. He also competed in the Quidditch Premiere League, run between June and August, playing both alongside and against other talented Falcons as a representative of Southwest Broadside.
Between practices the team have been trying to collaborate with as many other clubs and societies as possible. They recently enjoyed taking part in the university’s Tri-sport series, which saw them go head to head in a three way tournament against fellow ‘underappreciated’ sports Shinty and Ultimate Frisbee. Coming from a contact-heavy background, the Falcons did well in Shinty, but their accuracy and passing left something to be desired in their Ultimate Frisbee games. It was a great opportunity to try something new and spend time with other societies, and there will hopefully be further collaborations in the future.
Off-pitch, the team continue to thrive socially, and with Christmas coming up are getting into the festive spirit with a club meal. After a well-deserved break, the committee will be back in full force in the New Year to fundraise for Development Cup. With the help of compareholidaymoney.com and their generous sponsorship, the Falmouth Falcons will once again be able to leave Cornwall in search of victory- and maybe even return with the title.