Battered and bruised, but not beaten

HARARE - After breaking several bones, not many athletes will have the will, let alone courage, to keep going

But Zimbabwe’s multiple motocross champion Jayden Ashwell is no ordinary athlete, he is a fierce fighter.

Aged 17 and still to turn professional, the Marondera-born star’s love for speed has seen him breaking 24 bones in different parts of his body since taking up the sport as a seven-year-old.

The just-ended Zimbabwe Moto-X Summer Series was another example of Ashwell’s dedication to a sport he so loves.

Competing for the honours in the MX 1 class on his KTM 450, Ashwell rode through the pain of a dislocated shoulder, falling off his bike twice but was still good enough to clinch second place behind South African Kerim Fitzgerald.

“I have broken my left leg once, my right leg twice, left arm four times, right arm three times,” Ashwell tells the Daily News.

“I have broken my pelvis. I have fractured my vertebra. I have broken my collar bone. But I am happy all my injuries have healed fully.”

On what drives him to keep putting his body on the line, the former Lilfordia Primary School pupil says:

“It has been my dream, this is all I have ever wanted to do. There is nothing like winning a race, it’s an amazing feeling. My parents support me.  They know that I like what I do so they just let me get on with it.”

So passionate is Ashwell on taking his motocross career to the next level that he fast tracked his Ordinary Levels through home schooling.

The 2012 South Africa MX1 and MX2 champion had looked destined to turn professional early after getting an invite to compete at the world's most prestigious amateur motocross race held each year at Loretta Lynn's ranch in America.

But he was relegated to the sidelines of the event after breaking his arm during training in the build up to the qualifiers.

That ultimately saw him miss out on his first step to turning pro.

The 2012 Africa MX2 champion is however confident 2014 will see him rise to the top.

“I’m hoping to go be back in America next year in April. Hopefully, I will progress through the Lorreta Lynns qualifiers and from there I can start getting sponsorship.”

Comments (1)

Jayden is certainly a highly talented and natural rider. His pace is phenomenal at that age. He is now the Zimbabwean motorcross icon for the likes of Reagan Wasmuth, Tristan Grainger, Deven Cocker, Daiyan Manuel, Big Jnr (BJ) Chitima all of whom seem to have developed the zeal and mental strength to scale the heights to that level of competence in motorcrosss. Zimbabwean motorsport is very very strong indeed compared to other countries given the size of our population and availability of resources.

Bigz - 22 December 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.