2015 European Games Tournament Staff

There’s less than three weeks until the inaugural European Games – are you ready?

This July 24 through July 26, 12 teams from around Europe are going to come face-to-face in Sarteano, Italy, and our tournament staff is working hard with the city of Sarteano to make sure that everything is ready for the players, the volunteers, and the spectators when they get there. Many of you have already seen them posting information about the tournament for some time now, but here’s a chance for you to get to know more about some the people helping put this spectacular event together!

Karen Kumaki is serving as the 2015 European Games Tournament Director. Kumaki has a wealth of experience dealing with international tournaments, as she was the Event Director for the Quidditch Summer Games in 2012, and organized a European regional tournament in Brussels while serving as the IQA’s International Director from 2012 to 2014.

Morena Lanzo is serving as the Assistant Tournament Director. She is also currently the head Public Relations officer in organizing the Apulia Summer Tournament 2015, a member of the Italian rulebook translation team, and a member of the national Italian team commission.

Michele Clabassi is the tournament’s Gameplay Coordinator. Clabassi has both player and referee experience when it comes to international tournaments, having played in multiple and having served as the 2014 European Quidditch Cup Referee Coordinator. He also used to serve in the IQA’s Referee Development Team as an Italian and European Representative and has reffed at multiple international tournaments.

Alper Erişen is the tournament’s Snitch and Referee Coordinator. Erişen has experience with these roles, having worked as the Gameplay Director and the Snitch and Referee Coordinator at the 2015 Turkish Quidditch Cup. He was also the first Head Referee in Turkey and has officiated a large portion of all the official games that have taken place in Turkey.

Rebecca Alley is working as the tournament’s Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Gameplay Coordinator. Alley has been to countless tournaments, having coached in North America for over three years, and was the Assistant Tournament Director of the 2015 European Quidditch Cup. She also currently serving as Canada’s Coaching Resource Development Coordinator while abroad in France, and is the Executive Manager for the European Committee.

Sandra Kreit is serving as the tournament’s Hospitality Coordinator. Kreit recently served as the Tournament Director for the Tournoi International de la Violette, an international tournament hosted by her team, Toulouse Muggle Quidditch. She has also help to tournament staff running other tournaments in France and Spain.

This staff is extremely excited about this tournament, which is evident whenever you ask any of them about it as their enthusiasm is contagious. Kumaki says will be “of a caliber that we have not seen before in the quidditch world.” Much of this is thanks to the city of Sarteano: “The original bid was the most impressive I’ve ever seen,” Kumaki describes, “and Sarteano have continued to be amazing partners, working diligently to make this a real professional, inclusive, and wide-reaching event.” Alley agrees, stating, “From what I’ve seen so far, this is the biggest partnership with a host community that we’ve ever had in the sport of quidditch”. In the past, host cities have only offered so much in terms of space and funds, but Clabassi notes that “not only [is Sarteano] offering a major part of their own budget for the realisation of the event, but [they’re] also putting incredible amounts of time and dedication by their members into this event.”

Sarteano’s vital help with marketing and hospitality means that tournament staff can focus more on the gameplay aspects of the tournament. Clabassi is convinced that “it is the first step in the direction of a more legitimate sport that year by year can fully rely upon a National body and their partners to organise professional level events.” Kumaki also points out that this event is “the first of its kind in that it is a regional, national-team based event.” Unlike Global Games, “the teams are all from Europe, where countries are a bit smaller, people play against each other more regularly, and the level of play is a little more even.”

And it’s not just the staff and players that make the tournament such an international effort: “We have volunteers coming in exclusively to volunteer from all over the continent,” Alley says, “some coming across an ocean!” Erişen’s working “with the best referees and snitches from Europe (and also from all around the world)” to ensure that the matches played at the European Games will be officiated and snitched at the highest level possible.

Kumaki hopes it will have a big impact on quidditch expansion in Europe, especially considering that the event will has “excellent livestream capabilities”. Clabassi works with the wish that not only will this tournament “be a new frame of reference for all the tournaments to come”, but that Europe will come to see “the potential of Italian quidditch, in gameplay and events alike.” Kreit feels the same, aiming to “honor the players by supplying them a quality service” and to raise the bar for quidditch tournaments across the continent. “Set the standard high” is Erişen’s goal, and Lanzo agrees, stating “everyone is focused and doing their best”.

“I think we will see some exciting games in this event, with some surprising upsets,” said Kumaki. “And I always love national team events, as having a full nation behind your team lends a more exciting atmosphere than individual club events do.” Lanzo, however, puts it more succinctly: “This EG will be one of the best events that you’ve ever been to!”

For more information about the 2015 European games, visit the Sarteano website, follow the Facebook Page, and join the Facebook event