She’s only been playing for two months, but Arlyta Andrew has already made the NSW quidditch team.
The Ingleburn local – who has previously played sports including netball and touch football – joined the Macarthur Weasleys this year and was surprised to find just how much skill and competitiveness was involved.
After attending a trial day, Andrew was selected by Quidditch New South Wales to play in the state’s B side in the upcoming third state of origin match.
“It was a bit of a shock to be selected,” she said.
“I’ve only been playing for two months and only played a few games.
“I’m in the B side so I’ll play against the Queensland A team, while the NSW A team plays Victoria.”
A lifelong Harry Potter fan – the series of course being the origin of the sport – Andrew knew quidditch was “something I would love to do”.
“When I first came across quidditch as a real sport I was so excited and wanted to join,” she said.
“Then I found out there was a Macarthur team – it felt like fate.
“It’s not a difficult game to play once you’ve learned the rules and gotten used to playing with a broom between your legs.
“You only have one arm to work with, so you’re basically playing with a handicap.
“It’s a full contact sport as well, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.”
Andrew said she was faced with constant mocking about her chosen sport.
“It happens absolutely all the time,” the 27-year-old said.
“Conversations also devolve to ‘do you fly on a broom’ or ‘do you wave your wand around’.
“They think that it doesn’t require any talent, but everyone that plays is really competitive.
“You definitely need to give it a go to fully understand.
“It’s such a community-based, inclusive sport and everyone is so passionate about it.
“I’ve been in plenty of teams before and I’ve honestly never felt this vibe before.”
Andrew said quidditch is accepting of all people and men and woman play equally alongside each other.
She praised the attitude of the sport and its players and said she was glad she joined up.
“Quidditch is an awesome sport,” she said.
“We need to get people playing and educated.”
The final state of origin match will be played on Sunday, October 9 at the University of New South Wales.