Meet the Marauders: Da Huang

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Da Huang plays chaser for the SFU Marauders, and although he’s kind and courteous in person, he is a force to be reckoned with on the field.

When you think of quidditch, you probably think of the fictional game in Harry Potter, with magic and flying brooms — a difficult, if not impossible, game to play in reality.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.52.30 PMBut it’s real, having been adapted into an ac sport sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch. Although it deviates slightly from the game in the books and movies — primarily in that you can’t fly and that the snitch is carried by a person, a snitch runner — it’s actually fairly faithful. Players still carry around broomsticks, for instance (even though they are clearly not used to fly).

For some, the game’s basis on Harry Potter and the whole running around carrying a broomstick between your knees thing scares them off, or they dismiss it as ‘nerdy.’

Da Huang initially had some of these reservations: “At first I saw their club days [booth] in the AQ and I thought that this might be some kind of Harry Potter fan club, because there was [. . . a] guy carrying a broom and walking around.

“I do really like Harry Potter myself, but at the beginning, to be honest, I was kind of worried about how my friends [would] look at me because it sounds a little bit nerdy.”

However, it didn’t take him long to get into the game, and see it as a legitimate sport: “After a scrimmage, at the end of practice, this idea was just wiped out of my mind, as [I thought], ‘Oh damn, I’m almost dead from that game.’ I was taken down to the ground by another bulky player, like in rugby [and] the broom I was using back then broke into two pieces.

“It may look silly at first, when you’re running around riding a broom, but later people realize how intensive and competitive it is.”

He explains, “Fifty per cent of the reason I play this sport is because I’m a Harry Potter fan, the other 50 per cent is that, as an athlete, I really enjoy competing with my teammates and other schools.

“[It’s] competitive, it requires a lot of teamwork and that’s why I like this sport.”

Da admits to some difficulty when explaining the sport to his friends, saying, “A typical conversation would be like: ‘I have a practice today,’ ‘What practice?’ ‘Quidditch,’ ‘What’s that?’ ‘I just told you last week!’ ‘Oh yeah, that Harry Potter thing,’ “You should come with me,’ ‘Alright, I’ll try [sometime] later.’”

Despite the initial challenge of encouraging his friends to try the sport, after actually watching him play, their attitudes changed. “I convinced some of them to come and watch our game against UBC in the summertime and after that they were all like, ‘Wow, that’s way more intensive than I imagined.’”

In the game itself, Da is a chaser — the quidditch equivalent of a forward. His job, more or less, is to score. He describes himself as a high energy player; he refers to his intensity on the field, saying that he “yells all the time” to help motivate the team. He explains that his teammates sometimes say that another ego comes out of him when on the field.

He fits into SFU’s balanced game plan — in contrast to that of UBC, which he alleges focuses more on size and tackling — as a more agile and sneaky scorer, who uses speed to outwit the competition and put the quaffle (the ball) in the hoop.WEB-Meet the Clan Oneline-Nurzhan Kabdrakhman

Da’s athletic interests are not limited to quidditch, though; he enjoys playing many sports, in particular soccer and basketball, and these games often seep into his quidditch play: “I found that I can use my experience from other sports [. . .] to use in quidditch.

“[For example] I use the post move from basketball in quidditch to get rid of a defender,” he explains. “The overall size of the [field] in soccer [helped me realize] that I need to be aware all the time where my teammates are, where the defenders are, where the golden snitch is.”

Although he was not one of the founding members of the SFU’s quidditch team, the SFU Marauders, he is now one of the more senior players on the team, and in a position of leadership. Looking at the team, which started only one year ago, he sees a bright future.

“We are a new club compared to other universities in North America and in Canada, such as UBC — they all have longer histories than us, but we have been improving very rapidly,” he said. “We’ve been to several tournaments and actually did not bad.

“I’m proud of my team and happy to be a part of it.”

FUN FACT:
FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIES:

Da is a fan of horror movies, both from Asia and America. He lists The Shining and Silent Hill as two of his favourite Western horror flicks, while his favourite horror movie from Asia is one he calls “The Crazy Rabbit.” He says, “It’s actually a children’s movie, but I consider it to be very horrifying.”