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Jemma Thripp’s quidditch quest as the student from St Michael's competes in Canada for Harry Potter-style contest

By Tricia Jamieson

A university student has been chasing the golden snitch as part of the UK quidditch team.

Jemma Thripp, 20, has been competing in the quidditch global games in Canada, helping the team to fourth place.

The sport comes from the Harry Potter books and films.

Quidditch player Jemma Thripp in action for the UK team

Jemma, of Chalk Avenue, St Michael’s, has been hooked since she was a child.

“She read all the books and saw all the films,” said her mother, Stacey Thripp. “She is very competitive, has played football since she was 10 and loved the idea of quidditch.”

Jemma is doing environmental studies at Southampton University, where she saw a notice about a university quidditch team.

“She turned up and started playing, and it was apparent she was quite good,” said Mrs Thripp.

Jemma Thripp plays with the UK quidditch team

“They played other universities and then she applied for the global games. She got down to the last 10 and went to Canada with the team.

“They came fourth and were just beaten to the snitch by the Canadian team.

“Quidditch is a serious sport and is huge in America. It is very physical and Jemma has to tackle men twice her size.”

Teams are made up of chasers, beaters, a keeper and a seeker. Jemma is a chaser.

Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, played quidditch in the films of JK Rowling's books. Picture Warner Brothers Pictures

Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding sticks.They use four balls, the quaffle, two bludgers and the golden snitch.

Jemma, who went to Homewood School until the sixth form and then to Highworth Grammar School in Ashford, also took part in fantasy games in Los Angeles before going to Canada.

She is going to Barcelona in September for a similar event.

Jemma returns from Canada tomorrow.

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