HOK #17 – Ben Holland


Meet Ben Holland.

“Local people tend to know me as ‘the Lego guy’ but what people might not know is that I’m also a Quidditch player. About 6 or 7 year ago I was hanging out at Carleton University and found out that they had a Quidditch team. I thought ‘hey this could be fun’ and so I tried out for the team and ended up playing with them that year. I played for about two and a half years, at which point I got injured so couldn’t keep playing, but I’ve stayed involved in the team, and now am the Director of Photography for Quidditch Canada.

We play with one Quaffle, three Bludgers and one Snitch – one more ball than JK Rowling imagined in the Harry Potter books, and yes, we even use a broom, although it becomes almost more of a handicap in the real-life game. You have to be on your broom if you want to interact with any of the balls on the pitch. Of course there are differences – the Snitch, for example is someone dressed in yellow with a ball attached to them that the Seeker has to catch, but instead of flying, the Snitch in this case is typically someone who is very fast and maybe has martial arts training, so they fight back. I played Keeper – I cover three nets from both sides, have full use of the whole pitch, and take on the role of calling out plays.

It’s the only co-ed full contact sport. Early on the teams used to be mostly Harry Potter fans, and it still is a little bit, but more and more we get people who have a rugby, football, or soccer background as people recognize it as the tough sport that it is. Sometimes the fans don’t do too well with the tackling. I fall somewhere in between. When I was growing up, my brother and I were super into the Harry Potter books, and wanted to make our own version of Quidditch. I’ve been playing sports all my life – my parents instilled a great ‘go outside and play’ ethos in me so it was a good fit.

There are actually Quidditch teams in 15 different countries now – last year saw the start of Quidditch Rwanda and in April I got to travel down to the States for the 7th Quidditch World Cup. Local games? Well, coming up on July 25 the Ottawa Black Bears team will be playing Washington in Brewer Park at 4 p.m.!” Collected by Kate Settle

Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our growing collection of humans right here.

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