Volunteer Profiles: Manon te Riele

Quidditch is an entirely volunteer run sport. As nations around the world start and finish celebrating volunteers weeks, we are profiling some of the people from all around the country who help keep quidditch running. Manon te Riele is currently the Treasurer, Secretary, and Team Rep for South Melbourne Centaurs Quidditch Club, and Tournament Director of Melbourne Mudbash, one of the largest tournaments in Australia. Manon has been involved in quidditch admin and organising almost since she began in 2016, everything from social media to pitch managing, and an exceptional asset to the sport. Get a sense of what she does and why she does it below… 

What is your main volunteer role is at the moment? What does it involve?

My main volunteer role right now is Melbourne Mudbash co-Tournament Director. This involves organising the tournament, and working together with Nicola for all the planning and then running it on the weekend itself. It includes background things like organising sign up, equipment, volunteers and mending snitch shorts and the fun things like scheduling, having 2-way radios and running purely on adrenaline for the entire 2 days of the tournament.

My more permanent quidditch volunteer job is as secretary/treasurer and team rep for my club, South Melbourne Quidditch Club. There I do all the behind the scenes admin so our brilliant captain, Mark Kelly, vice captain Justine Herring, and the rest of the team can train and play at their best. This involves ensuring people are signed up, uniformed, have equipment and a good social event every once in a while, and actually show up at games. It also involves planning all aspects of our yearly trip to QUAFL and promoting all QA and VQA activities to try and get people participating in those.

What’s the rest of your history in quidditch?

I’ve been playing quidditch since 2016, when I started uni and had just moved to Melbourne. I did the social media for our team in 2017. I tore my ACL and had a knee reconstruction that year which meant I couldn’t play quidditch for a season. Instead, I got involved pitch managing at Mudbash and Vic Fantasy, and generally managed and helped out with my team.

In 2018 I was back playing and I was Assistant TD for Mudbash. In my club I became secretary/treasurer and Minotaurs team rep in 2018 when we had two teams and kept the roles when we moved back to one team this year.

I volunteered a little on merch for QUAFL 2017 and 2018 but was also very busy getting my own team together at last QUAFL. I did some translating for Quidditch Nederland in 2017/2018 as well, which was super interesting.

What makes you passionate about quidditch and want to volunteer?

I’ve been a massive Harry Potter fan since I was 10 so playing quidditch was just an extension of that at first, but I’ve stayed because I love the community, have made fantastic friends here and it’s a fun physical challenge.

I get quite invested in everything I do so volunteering for a small role that needed doing was obvious at first. As I’ve learned more and gotten experience, I found myself taking on bigger challenges because I really enjoy seeing something come together and having people enjoy something I created for them.  

What’s the hardest part of volunteering?

It takes a lot of time around a big event and the least fun parts are usually when you’re at a computer by yourself doing admin or nagging people to sign up for things because time is ticking.

What’s the most fun part of volunteering?

The really corny answer is working with and meeting new people, getting inspiration from others and learning new skills. I really enjoy the whole planning part- organising, working with people to make something really cool, having things come together and then enjoying what you created with your friends.

Are there people who have inspired you?

I learned most of what I know about organising a quidditch tournament from Nicola Gertler and could never dream of living up to everything she does for and knows about quidditch.

I am constantly inspired by those in my team who spend hours on strategy and preparation for games and training. Mark, Justine, and Emma (‘Jandals’) Humphrey are our current fearless leaders but their predecessors, James Brooks and Michael ‘Dundee’ Braham created a fantastic foundation and balance of serious competition and fun. It gives me a great reason to keep doing what I do to support them and help ensure their visions happen.

In terms of team rep and team organisation, I learned a lot from Carissa Dyall who had played quidditch for many years before me and took on a large volunteer role in our team when she played- nowadays she’s there for me to give ideas, support and encouragement.

Why should people get more involved in quidditch volunteering?

It’s really fun! You feel that you did good things and you get to help the sport grow. I always feel such a strong sense of community when I’m involved in volunteering, which keeps me coming back.

Using your life/work related skills for quidditch is also very satisfying, it’s a fun thing to put on CVs and guarantees you sound interesting in job interviews.

These profiles are being conducted in coordination with Q Consultancy, an international quidditch organisation who this week, is compiling volunteer profiles from all around the world, in time for Volunteers Week in the UK. Read more profiles here.