CHRISTMAS came early for Omagh racer Lewis Spratt when he was confirmed as a rider in the UK Arenacross tour and as an entrant for next season’s British Youth Championship.
That good news is in stark contrast to what the 10-year-old had to contend with during the summer when he broke his arm while playing with friends. Unfortunately, the injury didn’t heal properly and required surgery, meaning he missed out on the chance to represent his country at the Coupe De L’Avenir in Belgium.
While devastated by that blow, the Omagh County Primary School pupil has regrouped and is now champing at the bit to get back into action in the new year at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast, the Resorts World in Birmingham and the DSA Arena in Sheffield.
In front of thousands of expectant fans, Lewis will get to ride alongside a handful of other talented youngsters on the indoor tracks, which will also see some of the top riders from across the globe in action.
After that taste of the high life, the Omagh lad will make his British Championship bow in Whitby, Yorkshire, in March.
“It was a wee early Christmas present and it lifted our spirits after not going to Belgium – it was a nice wee surprise for Lewis,” beamed dad, Mark, who acknowledged that the Arenacross Tour will be a great experience for his son.
“He was so excited when we got the email confirming his place, he burst into tears of joy.
“He had me in tears, he has his mummy in tears because he had been going to watch it since he was three years of age and every time we’d leave he’d say ‘Daddy, I’d love to do that’.
“So, we put a CV in for him way back in September because this is the last year he’ll be eligible to compete in the Arenacross and fortunately he’s been selected.
“But it’s all about taking part. He’s always wanted to do it and this is his chance.”
Once the UK Arenacross tour concludes, Lewis will get his outdoor motocross season underway with the Irish Championship opener on March 16, followed by the first round of the British Youth Championship in Yorkshire at the end of that month.
He will be hoping to get off to a bright start, like he did last year before the unfortunate injury all but ended his campaign. Despite missing the end of last season, Lewis still managed to finish third in the Ulster championship, 7th in the Irish and second in the Errigal.
After next year, which will be Lewis’s last on 65cc machinery, he will make the step up to a heavier and more powerful 85cc machine in 2020.
In the meantime, Lewis would like to thank all his sponsors: Glendale Filling Station, Campsie Road Filling Station; Silverbirch Hotel; Ninth Avenue Pizzas; Allen’s Motorcycles; JMcC Gardening Services and those who contributed to his calendar for 2019.