A conversation with a friend and a supportive community have both been defining factors in a local teacher's love of live action role-play (LARP).
Teacher Simon Harding has been involved with the LARP group Swordcraft Iron Triangle (SCIT) for over five years.
The group has hosted events in Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla every few months, taking part in a national story that originated in Melbourne.
Mr Harding said his love of LARP all started when he had a conversation with a friend he met through the local scout group.
"He invited me along and I decided I had the time to do it and I wasn't going to let the fact it was a little bit weird and different stop me," Mr Harding said.
"I just showed up one day and I've been at almost every event since.
"About two years later, I ended up nominating and was given the opportunity to take over as the chapter president."
Mr Harding soon became known as Heinrich, the baron of Eisendreiech (German for Iron Triangle), and has been part of the group ever since.
He said, despite thinking it was a little odd at first, he came to love the LARP community in the area because everyone was "amazing".
"I enjoy the physical side of it and the combat sport, but the thing that makes me come back and continue to be involved is the community and the story that we tell," Mr Harding said.
"The community is supportive of anyone who wants to get involved.
"If anyone has any concerns about age or inexperience, or whether there's any physical limitations on their ability to participate, the community will find a way to make those people a valued part of the story and the event."
And it was not just the locals who made him feel welcome, with the national Swordcraft story coming together in Melbourne once a year for an annual LARP event.
"I've got friends all over the country as a result of attending these events who are some of the best friends I've ever made," Mr Harding said.
Even COVID could not dampen his - or SCIT's - spirits, with the group managing to get through the worst of the pandemic.
Mr Harding said participation numbers took a hit over the last few years with some people finding other hobbies in lockdown, but he still wanted to see new people join in the fun when they could.
"New players are loaned equipment to use and are given all the training they need to take the field in a safe way," he said.
"The community here is incredibly supportive of new players.
"We would love to see people come out and just give it a go."
SCIT's next event will be in Port Augusta on June 19.
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