FGCU students stay active through medieval combat

Author: Zach Oliveri
Published: Updated:

Armed with foam padded swords, shields, spears and even a bow an arrow, Florida Gulf Coast University students and graduates practice the sport of belegarth. All part of the school’s medieval combat club.

“Essentially take air soft and wind it back a few centuries to like the dark ages,” FGCU Medieval Combat Club President Nathan D’Agostino.

Donned in their medieval garb, these competitors duel in one-on-one combat. They also engage in massive battle games. FGCU junior Katie Coghill’s favorite is melee.

“It’s mainly at least on the field male dominated,” Coghill explained. “So fighting with a sword and a shield I love seeing the look on peoples faces be like oh you’re not you’re just eh and then I’m like no I’m not I’m not eh! And I just go up and wallop them.”

The battlefield during their club meetings is her happy place. A chance to be herself and stay active in an unconventional way.

“The gyms fun but it gets repetitive and boring,” Coghill said. “Out here it’s never boring.”

“We’re effectively walking miles doing all this exercise and having fun,” Ryan Fox, the club’s founder, explained. “I ended up losing 40 pounds my first year doing it.”

They maybe competitors on that battle field, but away from it, this is a family.

“Helped me build a great friend group,” D’Agostino said. “The friend group that I’ve had the entirety of college. And I’m probably going to be friends with after college.”

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