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Sport / Local teenager ‘gobsmacked’ after being selected for world championships

A TEENAGER from Mossbank has been selected to be part of the Scottish team that is travelling to Ukraine later this year to compete in the Medieval Combat World Championships.

Eighteen-year-old Varik Miller is the youngest member of the 12-strong Scottish team in armour.

The championships in Kiev between 16 and 19 May are expected to attract in excess of 600 athletes from more than 40 countries.

Medieval combat is an increasingly popular full contact sport in which participants use historically accurate armour to compete but also to re-enact historic battles. Last’s year’s world championships were held at Scone Castle, in Perthshire.

Varik Miller wielding a mace, a heavy and powerful bludgeoning weapon. Photos: Private

Miller said he was ”gobsmacked” when told that he was selected for the national team, as he was not expecting “to make it”.

His family got involved with the sport a few years ago and is the driving force behind local club Vikingr Hjaltlandi.

The teenager said wielding a heavy weapon while wearing the well-padded and tailor-made armour that weighs anything between 20 and 30 kilos requires strength and a high level of fitness from those participating in the sport.

He said the championships will be fought in four different categories; one against one with sword and a shield, one against one with a long sword and the same again with a pole arm.

Miller will participate in the group fights which could be anything from three against three, five against five and as many as 16 against 16, using a variety of medieval weapons.

And what looks like a gruesome reminder of a long gone period, actually is a lot of fun and camaraderie according to Miller.

“Several referees are counting the hits to head and body, but because you are completed covered in padded armour, you are not feeling much of the hits, and there is no bruising,” he said.

Needless to say that those massive swords are required to be blunt while targetting any joints where there is little armour is not allowed and frowned upon.

To make it all happen his family and club have started fundraising to help pay for the journey to the Ukrainian capital. Over coming weeks they will hold a number of events at local halls.

More information about those events can be found at the club’s Facebook page  or via e-mail vikingrhjaltlandi@gmail.com