First woman jouster in charity event

  • A managing director’s PA is set to become the first woman ever to take part in a jousting match at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

    Lorraine Knaggs from Rugby, Warwickshire will be facing an expert jouster in the medieval challenge on 14 October, in order to raise funds for paralysed ex-rugby player Matt Hampson.

    “I am very nervous,” admitted Lorraine. “It usually takes between 15 and 20 years to train proficiently because jousting can be quite dangerous. But I’m having just four or five training sessions.”

    Lorraine said her first training session had been physically demanding, and afterwards she was forced to visit a physiotherapist as her right elbow had suffered from brandishing the 3-5kg lance.

    “It’s hard work,” said Lorraine. “Carrying the lance is all about technique, which I am trying to learn. Getting on and off the horse is difficult as well as the pommel and cantle are raised so high. And with a full suit of armour I sound like a load of dustbins.”

    Lorraine has enlisted the help of Andrew Bodley at the Royal Armouries Museum to develop her skills. After riding with just the weaponry Mr Bodley added the armour to Lorraine section by section.

    The plucky PA added: “I’ll be wearing up to 80 pounds of armour, travelling at a speed of 30mph, towards a man who wants to skewer me — it’s a bit scary!”

    Her aim is to raise more than £1,000 for the Matt Hampson Trust. Mr Hampson played for Lorraine’s favourite rugby club, the Leicester Tigers, and the England under 21s, before a scrum accident two years ago left him paralysed from the neck downwards.

    If you would like to sponsor Lorraine email: boarsnout7@ntlworld.com

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