Suffolk

Injured speedway rider Sam Norris sets racing return goal

Sam Norris with his mother
Image caption Sam, pictured with his mother, is hoping to return to school soon

A 15-year-old speedway rider who was left on life support after a serious crash has spoken of his determination to return to racing next year.

Sam Norris, a rider with Mildenhall Fen Tigers in Suffolk, suffered a serious brain injury racing in Glasgow in June.

He could not see or speak afterwards but has since managed to walk and talk again and is due to return to school.

"At times I thought I might not even pull through this injury but I have, so I've won this race," Sam said.

The teenager said he wanted to get his fitness back, build up his strength and get back on a bike.

He said he was not frightened to return to his sport and had taken inspiration from international Swedish speedway rider Linus Sundstrom, who suffered a brain injury in a crash during a race in Poland last month.

"I'm not alone. He's so high up and the best still get them," said Sam, from Linton in Cambridgeshire.

Image copyright Jeff Higgott
Image caption Sam Norris in action for his club, the Mildenhall Fen Tigers
Image copyright Jeff Higgott
Image caption Sam Norris can walk and talk again after suffering a serious brain injury in a crash

Sam was competing in the British Youth Championships on 16 June when he crashed.

He said he was disappointed to miss out on the title but his goal was to compete in the British Intermediate Championships next year.

"It doesn't matter about the British Championships, you can say I've won a brain injury race now, that's my achievement and I'm coming close to winning it," he said.

Meanwhile, Sam said he was looking forward to returning to "normality", celebrating his 16th birthday and having Christmas at home.

He has been staying at a rehabilitation centre in Tadworth, Surrey, during the week but is set to return home fully in a couple of weeks.

"It'll be good to say I'm no longer in rehab, I can get back to school, mum can go back to work and to just be back at home in my own bed, it'll be great," he said.

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