Vernon Paralympic athlete Sonja Gaudet (middle) joins from left

Vernon Paralympic athlete Sonja Gaudet (middle) joins from left

Motocross passion on track

Fundraisers for Spinal Cord Injury B.C. initiated by local residents

Even after an accident that ended his own pro-motocross career, leaving him paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Vernon’s Brent Worrall continues to play a prominent role on the track.

The former Canadian motocross champion, who was ranked No. 10 in the world in his class, broke his back and neck in six places, fractured his clavicle, sternum and multiple ribs and had both his lungs collapse during an unfortunate crash in 2011.

Even though he now rides a different set of wheels, Worrall’s love for the sport is as strong as ever.

As an announcer for races at the Kelowna Dirt Bike Club, who also has an online radio show to enhance the growth of the sport post-injury, he has inspired the club to host a fundraiser for a cause close to Worrall’s heart.

The club hosts a fundraiser for Spinal Cord Injury B.C. Sunday at the Bear Creek MX Park.

“They were very inspired by my giving back to the sport and club even after my injury,” said Worrall.

“They have told me that my persistence to not let go of what I love and share my knowledge and passion for it has prompted them to help my peer group.”

For Worrall, hospitalization and rehabilitation saved his life, but SCI’s peer group opened many doors for him and his family.

“I would not have the quality of life I have today or the zest for it for that matter without my connection to my Spinal Cord Peers,” said Worrall, a father of three.

Following rehabilitation, he felt alone, isolated and unsure of what the future would hold.

Until he was introduced to the weekly peer group.

“Once there I was able to connect with others who had overcome some of the hurdles and obstacles I was faced with and would have to deal with for the rest of my life,” said Worrall, also noting the invaluable support for partners and spouses.

“Having the ability to talk about some of the sensitive and personal issues that surround spinal cord injury with someone who has dealt with and is dealing with is an intangible.”

To support the group that has changed Worrall’s life, riders of all abilities are encouraged to collect pledges and come out to the Sunday fundraiser.

The park opens Saturday at noon for campers, followed by a bonfire at 4 p.m. and the Monster Energy cup featuring Kelowna’s own Casey Keast at 6 p.m.

Races, awards and a speech from Worrall take place Sunday.

For more information visit www.kelownadirtbikeclub.com

Bring Your Own Chair evening social

Dress up that old lawn chair, bar stool, ottoman or power chair in support of Spinal Cord Injury B.C.

That’s the idea behind the Bring Your Own Chair fundraising taking place Thursday at the Laurel Packinghouse (1304 Ellis St. Kelowna).

The unique idea came together by SCI’s peer group members from Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton to support the agency which has helped change so many lives affected by spinal cord injury.

The event, which includes food and entertainment goes from 7 to 11 p.m.

 

Tickets for the event are $30, available for purchase at https://www.eventbrite.ca/event/8016388233