A GUTSY young Wollaston man has returned to competitive sport, despite being left paralysed in a tragic bike accident.
Callum Loveridge's life changed in February 2010, when his feet slipped off the pedals while he was doing his trademark back flip.
He landed on his head and suffered devastating spinal damage that caused him to lose the use of his arms and legs.
Before the accident, Callum, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie was a keen motorcross rider and regularly competed at national level.
But the plucky 20-year-old, of Bridle Road, hasn't let the fact he is wheelchair-bound stop him and is now competing in the British SXS Championships.
His dad Adrian, drives the specially adapted RZR racing buggy, which the sporty duo race around tracks all over the UK.
Callum told the News: "It's amazing to be back doing such a competitive sport. I love it, it takes my mind off everything and makes me realise I can still do stuff and there is still a life out there."
He added: "I've met lots of new people and we are getting better each week - we had our first win a couple of months ago and we're the fourth in our class. I hope to continue with it, it's a growing sport."
His return to racing has surprised his supporters and his mum Kim said she was proud of his determination: "I think if anyone had said he'd be doing this after the accident, I wouldn't have believed it. I wouldn't have thought we'd have come this far."
Callum said the sport has helped him both physically and mentally, adding: "I feel healthier now I'm doing it and definitely feel better in myself.
"It's been hard, there has been good and bad days - but more good than bad. I think because I was such a fit person before the accident, that has helped me a lot and I've always been open-minded and not scared of anything. My main focus is to be healthy and look after myself. I'm definitely the happiest I've been."
Dad, Adrian added: "For so long we were away every weekend competing and then after the accident that stopped. Now it's almost back to how it used to be. There's also a social side to it, we meet lots of new people, it's like a big happy community."
The buggy that Callum races was funded through Cal4U, a charity set up in the wake of the accident to fund adaptations to his home and specialised equipment.
To date, supporters have helped raise around £200,000, which Callum said he was incredibly grateful for: "Without the support, I wouldn't be able to live as good a life as I do now."
His mum Kim said it was important to keep funds topped up in preparation for advances in stem cell treatment for spinal injuries and added: "We've still got to look forward to the future, when it happens, we need to be ready."
Donations can be made online at www.cal4u.co.uk.