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The BBC's Wyre Davies
"Make-up and wings are an integral part of quidditch"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Broomstick fun for Potter fans

Pupils in mid Wales have devised their own version of schoolboy wizard Harry Potter's favourite game - Quidditch.

Author JK Rowling's magical hero attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

And like all the best schools, it has a traditional game at which Harry Potter excels.

In the book series, the Quidditch season starts in November and sees teams of seven competing on broomsticks, divided up into Chasers, Beaters, Keepers, Seekers and Bludgers. The Quaffle is the ball and a Golden Snitch earns a team extra points.


Quidditch players at Newtown High School
Wings and costumes are essential
But Potter-reading pupils at Newtown High School, in Powys, have adapted the game with one major difference - this version has no broomsticks and is strictly earth-bound.

Make-up, wings and hair-spray are not usually seen on the school sports fields of Wales, but at Newtown, they are compulsory.

The resulting game has been compared to a cross between Irish hurling and Australian rules football - although one broken finger has, so far, been the only casualty.

But despite the lack of broomsticks and some confusion over the rules, Quidditch has proved popular with both pupils and staff at the school.

Craze

Drama teacher - and the UK's only official Quidditch referee - Lillian Curran was the evil genius behind the Newtown version.

"It's really good fun, anyone can play it - you don't have to be a sports person to play it. And both males and females can play it in mixed teams so you break down the sex barrier," she said.

The weather and the end of lessons has proved to be the only dampeners in the craze for Quidditch with rain stopping play in the latest game as the score reached 580-510.

The game is not the only Welsh connection for Harry Potter. His creator was born in Bristol and raised in the Forest of Dean, but attended school across the border in Chepstow.

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