Shetland teen to compete in medieval combat championships

© Varik Miller Post Thumbnail

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

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

The championships in Kiev, held between May 16-19, are expected to attract more than 600 athletes from around 40 countries.

Medieval combat is an increasingly popular full contact sport in which participants use historically accurate armour to compete, as well as to re-enact historic battles.

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Last’s year’s world championships were held at Scone Castle, in Perthshire.

Varik 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 – which weighs between 20 and 30 kilos – requires strength and a high level of fitness.

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

The teenager 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 Mr Miller.

He said: “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.

The massive swords are required to be blunt while targetting any joints where there is little armour.

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.