HUMANS OF THE U: NATE WESTERN

“I used to do ultramarathons, but I wanted to find something new. I am a Harry Potter fan, but I don’t really associate playing Quidditch with that. It has some of my favorite parts of different sports combined into one. 

I played for the U’s team for two seasons and last season I played Major League Quidditch for the Salt Lake City Hive. At the regional championships last year we played Arizona State. We were just incredible; very physical. People who had been nervous or who were developing really stepped up. Just playing with that group of people made me more happy than I’ve been doing a lot of things. 

Seeker is an interesting position. You have this neutral player called the snitch, and they have shorts on with Velcro and a flag that contains a tennis ball. It’s pretty simple, you grab the flag. We can’t tackle the snitch. A snitch can do whatever they want to you, within reason. You’re limited because you have to stay on broom. You are wrestling with them, but you only have one arm. What I do have is the element of surprise. If I’m very quick or physical or tire him out, all I need to do is get back there for a second and grab that flag.

Quidditch is a gender-integrated sport. You can make waves with any particular athletic background as long as you’re leveraging your natural gifts. I’m 6’5”. I leverage my length really well. 

Quidditch can be whatever you want it to be. I would love to see people who might hear about it and say “I play real sports” to say, “let me see if this is a real sport” because it is full tackle and the things that seem hokey really aren’t. I think people would love it if they gave it a shot.”

Learn more about Crimson Elite here.
Learn more about the U’s official club Quidditch team here.
Learn more about the Salt Lake City Hive here.

— Nate Western, Keeper and Seeker for Crimson Elite


We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.