Road to QUAFL: Queensland Champs USC Dementors
Photo Credit: Fee Howcroft/USC Quidditch League
QUAFL 2018 is taking place this weekend. Before 24 of Australia’s finest Quidditch teams converge on the Sunshine Coast for 2 days, let’s take a moment to get to know some of the best teams in each attending state. Today we talked to Annie Partick, President of the University of the Sunshine Coast Quidditch Club, about her team’s success this year and their goals for QUAFL.
How did it feel to win the Queensland League Grand Final?
Fantastic! We suffered our first grand final loss last year to the ACU Paladins (now the Brisbane City Bin Chickens), so we came into the competition eager to reclaim the trophy. We’re very proud to have come away as winners.
To what does your club owe its success?
We trained hard in the lead-up to each Matchday, with fitness trainings on top of our weekly club tournament games. I feel like we’ve spent a lot more time together outside of quidditch as well – we enjoy spending time with each other which means we gel better on pitch. We also had a sudden influx of fantastic female chasers last semester, which was a huge bonus to our lineup. Our squad this year is mostly female, and we’re not afraid to use them, which I think is a real advantage for our team.
What are you most looking forward to at QUAFL this year?
Versing teams we rarely get to play against is always beneficial and teaches us a lot, but I’m also excited to see interstate friends, including members from our club who’ve moved away to other teams. This will be our first year where we could play against ex-Dementors!
Who are some of your more understated stars that you want other teams to watch out for?
Simon Spann – you guys are going to love him. But really, Daisy McMillan, Marie Løvland, Kaysanne Hockey and Jessica Head are our new female chaser recruits and they’re all incredible. This will be their first time playing against interstate teams, and we’re really excited to show them off! They are so dedicated to the sport, and our club, and we think their names will become more familiar as they make their way onto the Thunderbird lineup next year.
Who is a team from your state that you want other teams to watch out for?
The Brisbane City Bin Chickens are the next on the ladder, and as always, they’re going to bring their A-game to QUAFL. We’ve had a lot of close games against them, so they’re definitely not to be underestimated! That being said, the competition was quite tight this year, and there are fantastic players on both QUT and UQ.
A number of your team members were in respective state teams this year. What do you think you’ve learnt from the competition this year?
It’s very sobering to go from being the best in the game in the Queensland league, to being pitted against the best in Australia. It’s very easy to get cocky or complacent when playing games that you know you can dominate, and it’s easy to stagnate in that environment. State Shield always shows us how much we are yet to learn. I think a lot of us came back with a new level of fearlessness, which we hope to take into QUAFL.
Other than the games and medals you’ve won, what’s your team’s biggest achievement?
Our biggest achievement is probably the community that we’ve built within our club. Everyone hangs out on the weekend, lives together, dates, or just likes spending time with one another. We’ve worked hard to build an environment where people feel safe and happy and want to keep coming back. A big contributor to this is our internal league, where we’ve played weekly for 8 seasons now, and it’s still growing. From this, we’ve been able to contribute a player to the Australian team for the first time, as well as several Thunderbirds, and (at last) a B team for the national tournament.
On a more negative note, what’s one of the biggest hurdles your team has had to deal with?
Some of our team is very spread out, so we haven’t had a chance to train as a full squad (and won’t actually get that opportunity until Sunday). Simon and Chelsea live in Sarina, Mitch lives in Longreach, Jason in Gin Gin and Laurie in France! It’s hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules, but we’ve done the best with what we’ve got.
What are some future directions of the club for after QUAFL?
Our B team, the Nifflers, are making their debut at QUAFL this year, and we’d love to see them continue to play in Queensland and interstate competitions next year. We also want to send a full Dementors squad to Mudbash or Midwinter in 2019, and win more games at State Shield.
Many thanks to Regina Atkinson and Tegan Diep for their work putting this interview together