Hear Samuel’s story from his mother Alwena. Samuel suffered a Spinal...
Hello my name's Spencer Watts, I’m 20 years old. I am originally from Portsmouth, Hampshire. I now live in Devon, I moved here when I was 13 years old.
I have been into motocross from a very young age & started to compete in Schoolboy clubs at the age of 9, I was a very successful person in the sport & used to travel all over the County, riding different tracks & competing at different Levels. Unfortunately, at the age of 15, I had a Serious accident in the Sport which left me Paralysed from the waist down (T10 Paraplegic), I was in Hospital for 7 months, after my injury I was determined not to give up and to carry on living a normal life, I left the hospital to live with my Father, however this wasn’t for long, I went onto meeting my current partner Laura just before Christmas in 2011 who now is my wife. I left home to live with her Parents, however this was only going to be a temporary thing up until me & Laura found a suitable bungalow, we moved into our current home in March of 2012. We then both went to college, with myself studying motorcycle mechanics, I now have a level 2 Qualification in Mechanics. After we both finished college I went onto find out I couldn’t have children, I was told due to my Injury me & Laura would have to go through a, process called IVF, but thankfully this worked first time for us. We now have a son named Oliver that is 15 months old.
When I had my accident in 2011 I was determined not to give up and to carry on doing as much as I possibly could independently. I went onto looking at ways of adapting a motocross bike and get back riding, after a lot of research & proto types I had a fully adapted bike by the end of 2013. I have a frame that wraps round the bike which hold my legs in tight I also have my back break raised onto my left side of my handlebars along with a piston that bolts onto my gear lever so I can change gear on the handlebars. Someone holds me from the rear mudguard when I pull away and the same when I come to a stop. I got back on the bike for the first time on the 20th October 2013, at a track Called Yarley in Somerset. It was a very strange feeling for the first few months of me being back riding as all I have is my upper body strength to handle the bike. I also managed to raise over £2000 for Wings for life, when I got back on the bike. After a lot of practising and trying different techniques. I went to my Local Motorcycle club & approached them for a licence to race again, they were over the moon to help in any way possible, after a couple of assessments on how my bike was adapted I was issued a licence to race at the End of 2014. I’m now still racing & have even travelled to Spain to race since my accident.
I’m friends with a guy called Aaron Morgan who is also paralysed, I saw him share an article on his social media about the Matt Hampson Foundation, which I went onto read about Matt & what happened to him, I was just amazed & couldn’t believe what Matt had achieved. I approached the foundation beginning part of 2015 to ask for support with an Off Road Wheelchair as I was really struggling to get about in the Motocross fields with my lightweight chair. They kindly replied saying that they were happy to help support me with one, which has made me become so more independent at motocross events I can now go and watch the racing & not keep getting stuck & having to rely on someone to give me a helping hand. I managed to meet up with Matt for the first time at their Rugby match at the Saracens. I was so inspired by him, it brought a tear to my eye. It just goes to show no matter what your injury’s are there are still things you can achieve & live the life you want to live. I was in contact with the foundation towards the end of 2015 about my biking and how they were willing to support me with a new Motocross bike, there are no words on how thankful I am on what Matt & the foundation have done for me, it’s Just Amazing!
I have a lot of plans & ambitions ahead for me for 2016, I will be competing throughout the South & South West championships and really do hope for some good results! I’m also going to be hosting a few events throughout 2016 fundraising for the Foundation to allow them to go on and help people just like me! I just want to say to everyone out there, there are no such words as CAN’T there is always a way you can do something, sometimes it just takes a bit of thought & encouragement, let’s get busy living!!
You can watch Spencer in action here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJz01lhltbo