New Plymouth Devils signing Chris Schramm defying effects of a broken back to help speedway club
NEW Plymouth Devils signing Chris Schramm is defying the effects of a broken back to help the city speedway club to a successful future.
Schramm sustained serious damage to his vertebrae when he crashed during a meeting.
He was told he was millimetres away from a more serious injury which would have left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Schramm was fitted with a brace and spent the next six months not being allowed to go upstairs at his home in Chelmsford, Essex.
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He wasn't even allowed to lift anything like a kettle in case he injured himself again.
Specialists told Schramm he would not be back on a bike for a year.
Schramm thought otherwise. Three months later, after intensive sessions in the gym, he was back on a speedway bike.
Schramm said: "I was doing six days a week in the gym, because I was determined to get back on a bike.
"The first month I was doing training, I was going home and just falling into bed, I was so tired.
"You can't really describe what it was like. It was a hard old slog to get my stamina and fitness back.
"In the last six months, I've probably lost about one-and-a-half stone."
Schramm hasn't had the best of luck with clubs, either, after being released from his last one, Sheffield Tigers.
He said: "With leaving Sheffield, there were a number of things that went on.
"I'm physically fit and I'm mentally fit, and I've got good equipment (bikes).
"I had a bad year, but I'm still standing and I'm still committed to doing as well as I can for Plymouth this season."
Schramm is one of four riders who have been drafted in to ensure Plymouth do not flop in the Premier League this season.
The city team finished bottom in their second season in UK speedway's second tier. The team will be spearheaded by new number one Ty Proctor, with new signings Mark Lemon, Schramm and Ricky Kling trying to make their mark.
Captain Cory Gathercole, plus reserves Todd Kurtz and Ben Reade return to the starting seven from last season's team.