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The word disability provokes all types of responses. Whether empathetic, disillusioned or even impartial; we are all guilty of at some point holding prejudices against individuals who are hindered in some way, shape or form.

Report and Pictures by X-Cast Media

What we often fail to consider is how someone who is presented with these challenges, decides to react to them. What if they do not consider their impairment as a disability? But rather as an obstacle to overcome. It is in these circumstances when something truly amazing happens. To be able to move past any inhibitions that might hold you back, and continue to live life to the fullest is something very special in itself.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of working with someone who personifies the term, awe-inspiring. A seven year old whom despite his ‘disability’, proves every weekend that he is no-less able than any other child. A seven year old who was born profoundly deaf and underwent life-changing cochlear implant surgery two years ago. A seven year old whose passion is motocross.

Charlie’s Story:

Charlie Parker was born prematurely. He spent some time in intensive care and it was discovered early on that his ability to hear was severely hindered. For the early stages of his life Charlie was unable to detect sound at all; unable to enjoy something which so many of us often take for granted.

Two years ago Charlie underwent Cochlear Implant surgery, and his life was changed significantly. With the aid of Sound Processors to send signals to Charlie’s brain (which translates to the interpretation of sound), Charlie is able to hear just as well as the rest of us. Except when he is riding. Having to sacrifice the ability to hear (removing his sound processors) in order to wear a helmet every time he jumps on his KTM SX 50, is a massive adjustment Charlie has grown accustomed to. He rides in complete silence, with only the ability to see and feel what is going on around him.

Everything that Charlie has accomplished, paired with everything he will go on to achieve in the sport, reflects on and encapsulates the fact that Charlie does not let his disability prevent him from doing the very thing he loves. It is for that reason that Charlie is a credit to motocross.

Charlie’s Motocross Career:

Charlie started riding at the age of four, as you would expect, the little Yamaha PW50 was the obvious choice for Dave Parker when deciding to present Charlie with a new lease of life. Being an avid MotoGP fan and a die-hard Rossi supporter, Dave’s choice of embroiling the #46 everywhere is only coincidental I’m sure. Moving on some time, the next step for Charlie was the KTM SX 50 mini; the little machine was Charlie’s pioneering bike when it came to his racing career.

Kickstarting the racing was a massive step for Charlie, as it really presents its own set of acute challenges; even for those of us that have the ability to hear when riding, we are all able to appreciate that racing and practicing are two very different things. Last year was a good foundation year for Charlie. Riding the early rounds on his SX Mini, before progressing onto the regular KTM SX 50, then utilising the Big Wheels on his Machine toward the latter stages of the season. He took a 15th overall in his first ever Championship in 2018, but this season the CP46 Team are looking to progress even further!

Having spoken to Dave about the steps taken to prepare for the 2019 Season, he expressed that they took full advantage of the winter in order to develop. Suggesting that riding over the colder months has paid them back in dividends, Dave was anticipant of progressive results in the early rounds. This has proved to be more than just speculation, as at every meeting so far Charlie has finished in the Top Ten, with a Career Best Race finish of 4th with EKSSC at Wildtracks (Chippenham). The clear signs of development over just a few months have been astounding, we are definitely looking forward to seeing the #46 battling out-front for the rest of the season!

X-CAST Media’s Predictions for 2019:

Having seen how far Charlie has come between this season and last, we would like to see him pushing for a place at the ACU Team Event at the end of the year! The Top Five finishes are definitely something we are expecting to see as the year unfolds. We are hoping that the momentum that Charlie and the team currently have only continues to snowball throughout the year.

We wish Charlie every success in the future! It was a pleasure to work on a Short Edit with him at Park Gate MX. Check it out here!