Tar­lia’s spirit is not bro­ken

12yo rider back in the seat

The Western Star - - Sport - Ellen Rans­ley ellen.rans­[email protected]

MO­TOCROSS: Four months af­ter she broke her back in two places, 12-year-old Tar­lia Pear­son was kick­ing up dirt and com­ing in third in her mo­tocross class.

On March 17, while rid­ing her bike at Six Mile, near Roma, she swerved to avoid a rider go­ing the wrong way.

In the process she hit a tree, flipped off her bike and landed on her back in a ditch.

“I broke it in T10 and T11 it was pretty scary,” Tar­lia said.

“It’s the first time I’ve been se­ri­ously in­jured and I’ve been rid­ing since I was three and com­pet­ing since I was four.

“I was in a lot of pain and was in Bris­bane for a while but, around the three month mark, I started to feel bet­ter.

“It hasn’t even been four months since I broke my back and Satur­day and Sun­day were the first time I’ve raced since it hap­pened.”

In the 85 Big Wheel class for rid­ers aged 12–16 years at the Queens­land Women’s and Vet­er­ans’ State Cham­pi­onships at Roma Mo­tor­cy­cle Club, Tar­lia placed third.

“I was the youngest in my group too. It’s the third time I’ve com­peted in this title, and the third time I’ve come third,” she said.

“My back only hurt a lit­tle dur­ing but I wasn’t scared of it hap­pen­ing again or any­thing.

“I love mo­tocross so much, the feel­ing of be­ing free when you’re rid­ing, it’s like you’re fly­ing.”

Tar­lia said while she prob­a­bly wouldn’t for­get she had bro­ken her back, for her it was a mat­ter of mov­ing for­ward.

“Mum tells me every­one has hic­cups in life, this is just one of those,” she said.

Mother Phillipa Pear­son said it was an emo­tional week­end for her and her hus­band.

“We weren’t scared see­ing her get back on the bike but we were ex­tremely ner­vous,” she said.

“But to see her do so well we were so proud.

“Es­pe­cially be­cause she hadn’t touched a bike for four months so to go out there and place was pretty spe­cial.

“Dur­ing the whole process, the only thing she wanted to do was get back on and ride. They told her it would be at least three months be­fore she could even think about it and that was the only time she ever got up­set – when they told her she couldn’t ride.”

Mrs Pear­son said sup­port from the lo­cal, state and na­tional mo­tocross com­mu­nity made the process eas­ier on the fam­ily.

“Todd Wa­ters, who is a na­tional rider, sent her a bag and a signed shirt,” she said.

“And the whole com­mu­nity, pretty much through­out Aus­tralia, got

❝scared I wasn’t

of it hap­pen­ing again or any­thing.

— Tar­lia Pear­son

be­hind her, sent her mes­sages and sup­ported her.”

It’s im­por­tant to the Pear­sons to con­tinue to sup­port Tar­lia’s rid­ing dreams.

“Ev­ery time they put their hel­met on and get on the bike, there’s al­ways that risk of them hurt­ing them­selves, but, if you think too much on what could hap­pen, they’d never do it,” she said.

“It’s some­thing you just en­cour­age be­cause they like do­ing it. We just keep sup­port­ing her.”

Tar­lia will com­pete in Emer­ald next month.

PHOTO: CON­TRIBUTED

IN THE ZONE: Tar­lia Pear­son, 12, back on her bike at the Queens­land Women’s and Vet­er­ans’ Cham­pi­onships in Roma on the week­end.

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