Hayden’s a heavy hitter - Undera teenager making his mark in medieval battles

January 10, 2018

Youngest around: Undera's Hayden Powles has only been involved in the sport for about nine months, but he is already making a name for himself in the medieval scene.

HISTORIC medieval battles are not for the faint-hearted.

And when you enter the wooden arena, Undera’s Hayden Powles, 16, says you sign up to be injured.

From the age of three, Hayden has been a fan of history and ‘‘medieval stuff’’.

And in October, he competed in a national tournament in Ballarat that pitted the best of the best against one another.

‘‘It was the first opportunity I’ve had to become a knight and do what I love,’’ Hayden said.

Having been a huge Lord of the Rings fan and, more recently, a Jon Snow fan, Hayden recently got to follow in the footsteps of his idols.

‘‘It was a five versus five competition,’’ Hayden said.

Team Kracken eventually had to forfeit the round-robin competition, after ‘‘three of the six people (in the team) got knocked out’’.

‘‘I haven’t had any bad injuries, just a few bruises ... but the first time I competed I made someone go to hospital,’’ Hayden said.

There are some rules, though — hitting behind the knee and the back of the neck is not allowed.

‘‘But you can basically hit as hard as you want,’’ Hayden said.

With full suits of armour, blunted steel weapons, training during the week in Melbourne and once a month in Ballarat — this is no play sport.

‘‘I’ve got a full suit of armour ... I made my arm and leg harness and bought my chest piece from Italy for about $500,’’ Hayden said.

NSW team Havoc took out the most recent tournament, knocking its opposition to the ground first.

Unfortunately as it stands, Hayden can no longer compete, with a change in the Australia peak body committee meaning he is no longer covered under insurance.

‘‘The Victorian representatives are trying to figure it out,’’ he said.

Hopefully, this knight in shining armour will be fighting for the Goulburn Valley region again soon.

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