Quidditch for Quesimpuco


Fans of the Harry Potter series will soon get their chance to relive childhood fantasies by participating in a tournament of quidditch.

The College of Engineering will host the "Quidditch for Quesimpuco" tournament benefitting the Engineers Without Borders "Bolivia Project" on April 21 at the hayfields on Donahue Drive.

Registration will be held through April 6 with a $10 entry fee required.

"Anybody can participate," said Katie Gauthier, event coordinator and sophomore in industrial engineering and Spanish. "You don't even have to be an Auburn student. It's $10 per person if you want to participate and we are asking for a $2 donation for people who come and watch."

Gauthier said all of the proceeds will go to support Engineers Without Borders' effort to build an irrigation system in the town of Quesimpuco, Bolivia.

"It will help out with the project fees for us actually going in this summer and implementing what we've been working on this past year," Gauthier said.

Steve Duke, professor of chemical engineering and Engineers Without Borders faculty adviser, said the irrigation system being built will help a group of native Quechua people maintain better crops.

"They are brilliant in being able to sustain themselves, but they really need higher-protein crops to help with their health and their diets," Duke said. "This will allow them to expand the different kind of crops they can grow there and make better use of water during the dry seasons."

Duke said he started the Auburn chapter of Engineers Without Borders out of a passion for helping towns like Quesimpuco, and as a freshman Gauthier suggested the idea of a quidditch tournament as an exciting way to raise funds for the project in Bolivia.

"I've always been a Harry Potter fan, and a lot of other colleges have a quidditch team," Gauthier said. "I felt like it would be a good fundraiser because it catches people's eye; people love Harry Potter and it gets the name of Engineers Without Borders out there, but at the same time I think it's a great opportunity for people to come out and have fun and relive their childhood in a sense. It was that sense of nostalgia that I was really banking on."

The group has held a tournament each of the last three semesters, with the size of the tournament growing each time.

"We have both Harry Potter fans in the tournament and then just people that like to compete," said James Martinez, sophomore in interdisciplinary studies. "When you go out there you get a wide variety of different people competing."

Martinez and his team won the tournament last semester and hope to reclaim the Quidditch Cup.

He said the game is perfect for anyone who enjoys competitive sports.

"It is really exciting for Harry Potter fans, but you don't necessarily have to be a fan to enjoy the tournament," Martinez said. "That is what's so great about it."

Gauthier said she enjoys bringing people together out of a shared love for Harry Potter.

"People feel that Harry Potter is a younger-kid thing, but we were the younger kids that made Harry Potter what it is," Gauthier said. "In a sense I feel like it really defines part of our generation and that is what is going to draw people together to come out and play quidditch."

For more information about the tournament visit the"Quidditch for Quesimpuco" Facebook event page, or send an email to harry.potter@auburn.edu.

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