– I remember the first time I saw you ride was at the Battle of Hastings qualifier a few years ago. It seemed like a lot of people there hadn’t seen you ride before either and I remember a real buzz around you, Seb Hejna on the mic picked up on that and really got the crowd going, he knew a little bit of your story and helped create loads of energy in the place. Do you remember feeling that?
Yeah! That was the first year. Then the year after, sending that double flip was one of the biggest moments in BMX for me so far. It really showed what I was about, that I’m not scared. It really showed my passion for BMX, more than anything, the passion to keep getting back up and to keep on going. Even though I didn’t land it I think that was such an important moment because it showed who I was. Pure determination to get up after anything.
– Do you think that’s to do with what’s happened to you? You’re obviously very driven and passionate about riding, you have this fierce determination. Do you feel like you have to prove yourself to everyone, like, ‘I can do this’?
I think it’s more to prove to myself that I can do this, than to anyone else. I guess I know deep down I do have a lot of self belief, I have a hell of a lot of self belief. BMX is hard, it can be a hard industry to get your name out there in, I feel like the talent is there and I do believe in myself. It’s more about showing everyone else that you can do it, putting that belief into other people.
Showing everyone that literally anyone can do it, you just gotta want it. Whether that be uni assignments, or job stuff, or BMX, you can do it. From day one I always wanted to be a BMX rider, even sitting in hospital dying, I could barely move, barely speak, every day I just thought about getting back out there and possibly doing double flips. That was from the hospital bed, years ago.
– Do you hope to inspire anyone younger who might have an injury, to prove to them that it’s all possible?
Yeah, it’s with anything in life really. I’ve got a real opportunity because I do have some talent on a bike, it’s easier for me to push my story to the masses, I’m not gonna stop with BMX, it’s not just about riding, I want to inspire people in every walk of life, I’m just using BMX as a tool to make myself heard. Anything is possible.
If you’re struggling, put that extra energy into it, if you fail five times, make it happen on the sixth time. Tell yourself over and over again that you can. I had a motto: if you tell yourself you can’t, you never will. The pallet ramp double flip at the Boyley Jam is a prime example: I had zero faith that I was gonna land that, it was a joke. But I went into it believing I could land that, in a dream world, if you like. Yeah, I could land it, whatever planet I thought I could land it on, I had that belief. Sometimes it’s enough to bring you round to get it done.
“Tell yourself over and over again that you can.
If you tell yourself you can’t, you never will”
– Are there any other disabled athletes that you look up to, any heroes that inspire you?
Jack Stumper mate! Honestly. He inspires me so much. Julian Molina as well, what a legend. Outside of BMX… I used to ride with the Team GB paralympic squad so those guys always inspired me.
My granddad as well, he wasn’t disabled, but he was the only person for me, I didn’t have any family, he took me in from very very young, brought me up, took me racing, taught me about bikes. My biggest inspiration.
– I see you’ve ridden with some big names like Mark Webb. Does that kind of thing feel like a big achievement for you?
For sure, you know, I watched all his videos when I was younger and during my time in hospital, so to be on his radar and riding with people like that definitely boosts the confidence a bit more. It makes it worth it, feeling like I can inspire my heroes to do better as well.