Standing at 5ft 6ins, weighing about 62kg (9st 7lb), Leonie Leaver has actually invested the in 2015 weathering blows from blunted axes and swords.
The cleaner from Perth compares the force to the knocks she utilized to handle the ice hockey rink – just now there is the apparent clang of metal on metal as she deals with challengers outfitted in steel.
Leonie, 35, is the very first lady in Scotland to complete in armoured middle ages sword battling – to put it simply, the nation’s very first female knight.
It is a stealthily inviting sport, she states, regardless of the aggressiveness, weapons and disproportion in numbers in between the sexes.
“I believe numerous females are under the impression that it’s a male-dominated sport, and it’s not actually – all my people have actually been fantastic,” she stated.
Her people form the infantry of the Scottish Knight League – Scotland’s nationwide group for middle ages competitions who train in groups throughout the nation.
Women do participate however normally in soft sets not metal armour.
Leonie got hooked after viewing warriors in action at the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) World Championships at Scone Palace in 2015.
Between work and taking care of her seven-year-old child, Leonie has actually trained with the league since.
“I’ve been dealt with as an equivalent quickly,” she stated.
“There are other ladies in Scot who take part however not completing in armour – they do it in soft set.
“I began training in soft set, however all that remained in mind was what I saw – these fantastic strong warriors offering it their all – and I wished to press to enter into that.
“It’s quite like ice hockey however you’re not punished for being too rough. I’ve simply never ever been a pretty girly lady.”
To beat a challenger in middle ages fight, rivals need to strike tidy blows on their armour, making approximately 5 points in each match – one point for every single wallop.
The sport has actually been referred to as “much safer than rugby” in the past, in spite of the periodically bloody and often uncomfortable injuries.
I required armour – so I worked 2 tasks
The essential to remaining safe is the robust re-enactment armour which Leonie at first obtained from her fellow group mates however she quickly desired her own package.
She operated at 2 tasks to buy the £ 1,600 armour and £ 300 helmet.
“I needed to purchase my own armour, she stated.
“I utilized to obtain it off the kids, which was incredibly kind, however undoubtedly being female you’ve got a much smaller sized frame.
“I utilized to do a cleansing task and had a bar task at night in addition to caring for my child. I did that for 3 months.
“I have not had any bad injuries, simply the normal bumps and scrapes similar to any sport. You’re taught how to utilize your strength.”
Fighting an inner fight
Throughout her adult life Leonie has actually been an eager sportswoman, frequently playing ice hockey and rugby – however absolutely nothing has actually rather offered her the excitement of wielding a sword.
It has actually been an increase that assisted her get rid of a dip in psychological health over tough cold weather.
She stated: “I do not do extremely well in winter season like many people however when understand I have training I’m up that day, I’ve had breakfast, I’m cleaned, dressed, delighted and getting ready to go.”
Leonie included: “My child Cali concerns training with me. She likes it and the young boys are fantastic with her.
“They put her in a soft package with a guard and sword, have a celebration about and teach her how to strike. We’re all like siblings and bros.
Leonie’s new-found strength was put to excellent usage last weekend when she contended for the very first time at the Call to Arms occasion at Blackfriars Friary in Gloucester.
She clashed her method to triumph throughout one group battle with fellow warrior ladies from throughout the UK.
She included: “I’ve had a lot of messages of assistance from the people in my group – stating ‘you rock lady, you’re badass’.
“I’ve ended up being so strong psychologically and physically, you simply discover that inner warrior that’s in everybody – you simply need to.”