A BMX racer from Hemel Hempstead has been forced to retire from the sport after failing to recover from serious injury to her wrist.
Claire Morrison, the 2010 female over-25s national champion, shattered both wrists in April this year and, despite undergoing physiotherapy sessions three times a week since then, she still has very little movement in her left hand.
“The hospital are saying that as my hand was so smashed up close to and in the joint, I probably wont get much more movement and I won’t ever be able to rotate my wrist to turn my hand over,” said Claire.
“I have also developed CRPS – complex remote pain syndrome – which basically means that I’m still in a lot of pain.”
Mum-of-one Claire has broken a total of 16 bones in five years on the track, and her career-ending injury came on her return to action after breaking her back just eight weeks previously.
Competing in rounds six and seven of the National Series, Claire made a good start to the meet – reaching the final and finishing in third place.
It was downhill from there, however, as a dramatic crash on the highest jump in the next race left Claire with a break to her right wrist, and multiple breaks in her left wrist.
“I’m having to adjust to normal daily life now as I used to train six days out of seven,” said Claire.
“It’s hard because I don’t feel ready to give up yet, I was just starting to get into my new training programme and was hopeful of things to come.
“I’ll still be going to the races to watch, though, as I love the sport and I’ll help out with some coaching too.”
Despite her obvious disappointment, Claire says she would not change anything about her BXM career.
“I have no regrets at all about my time racing, only positives – even the crashes!” she said.
“I’m lucky I have a supportive family, especially after this last crash, with having both arms in plaster they have done so much for me.
“I have so many good memories from BMX, but fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming national champion is the best memory of all.
“I will miss competing so much but am lucky to have so many good memories to look back on.”