A few short months ago, Rory Southwell wasn’t sure he’d ever ride his bike again.
The Harrington Park teenager has been an avid BMX racer and was set to compete in the 2017 world championships.
But a horrific crash left him with serious injuries and required him to use a wheelchair for four months.
Now, after almost 12 months without competing in sport, the 14-year-old is back on the bike and has his eyes on competing in next year’s world championships in Belgium.
“I’m feeling better than ever,” Rory said.
“We weren’t sure if I would ever be able to ride again.
“I literally didn’t know if I could until I got back on the bike.
“But even now, if I have another crash I probably won’t be able to ride again.”
Rory said his hips were not as strong as they used to me before his crash.
The Oran Park Anglican College student came off his bike after misjudging a jump in May last year.
“I was up on a hill and probably going about 50km/h,” he said.
“I lost control and crashed, and landed on my butt.
“I didn’t lose consciousness though, I remember everything.”
Rory recently picked up the title of NSW State Champion and is competing in South Australia this weekend.
He said he loved the feeling of adrenaline BMX racing gave him.
“I love sitting on the hill, thinking about what I’m going to do in the race, my heart racing and trying to keep control of my nerves,” Rory said.
“I love that feeling at the top of the hill.”
He is hoping to do well enough in his upcoming races to compete in the nationals and ride his way to Belgium.
Rory had some words of encouragement for anyone who was nervous about getting back into their sport after an injury.
“Your body will heal,” he said.
“You don’t know what you’re able to do until you try.”
Rory thanked Macarthur BMX for all their support throughout the past year and thanked his team Krank-It for helping him succeed.
Mum Natasha Southwell praised her son’s hard work.
“Rory has shown patience, perseverance and true grit in his recovery from his injury and to be able to bounce back from these circumstances at the top of the podium is truly phenomenal and worthy of recognition and celebration.”