Norton takes Quidditch Championship
As a former Cadet Flight Sergeant on 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron, Tom Norton knows a thing or two about flying high. Holder of a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, gliding scholarship, and years of leadership and training experience prepared him to take up the offer of a place at university.
But now, he’s gone a step further, making the Great Britain Squad for the forthcoming World Cup competition. This is the kind of story we look for: a cadet going on to great things. But what makes Tom’s story unusual is the sport he’s taken up.
After seeing the event advertised at Freshers Week, Tom joined up mainly for a laugh. I mean, who doesn’t want to play Quidditch? But it soon became quite serious, and I started getting quite interested.
Now, he’s a regular starter for the Keele University team, Avada Keeledavra and is the youngest starting player (he’s a Chaser if you were wondering) for the GB team that is flying out to Canada in Summer 2014. In January approximately 200 players went to the UK tryouts, anyone and everyone was welcome. After a series of training weekends, this was trimmed to a 40 person development squad, with the final 21 players selected this month.
The tournament will be governed by the International Quidditch Association’s rule book, which is based on a muggle’s interpretation of the game. Whilst running around on broomsticks, the players will stay as close to the fictional game as possible. The infamous flying snitch will be played by a neutral player dressed in yellow with a tennis ball in his waistband and ˜Beaters will throwing dodge balls at their opponents in an attempt to knock them off their brooms.
Its great fun says Tom, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But I’m really proud to represent GB and we’re going there to try and win.
Although this is one of the more unusual opportunities for ex-cadets of the Squadron, it certainly comes as no surprise. Ambition, courage, adventure and obviously, a good aerial technique and head for heights are clearly core cadet attributes. Who knows perhaps a Wing, Region or Corps Quidditch match is not far off? We wish Tom, and the rest of the team, the very best of luck as they travel this summer.