Friends and well-wishers backing bid to bring injured Borders mountain biker back home from Switzerland

Borderers and well-wishers from further afield are rallying round to help bring an injured mountain biker back home to Galashiels once he’s well enough to travel.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:17 pm
Galashiels mountain biker Darren Scott in action

An online fundraising appeal has been launched to pay for medical treatment for Darren Scott following an accident while competing in a world championship event in Switzerland earlier this month and for him to be repatriated once he gets the all-clear from medics.

It’s already raised almost £16,000 of its £40,000 target within 48 hours of being launched.

The 50-year-old, a motocross racer for half his life before switching to mountain biking, is being treated in a Swiss hospital after breaking two ribs and injuring his back and pancreas in that crash on Sunday, September 12.

It has turned out since being airlifted there that a loophole in his insurance means he’s not covered in Switzerland, meaning that he’ll have to raise the money to pay his medical bills himself.

The 22 Foundation, a charity founded to support fellow ex-motocross racer Sean Doherty, left paralysed by a crash six years ago, has stepped in to help out, however, and is running an appeal on behalf of Scott, elder brother of former Scotland rugby star Steve Scott.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The 22 Foundation was set up not only for Sean but to help other friends or like-minded sportsmen.

“We now find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to raise money for Darren Scott, who has been critically injured and needs repatriated from Switzerland back into a Scottish hospital.

“Darren was sitting in the top three and was looking strong for a medal finish at the end of the world series.

“At over 50 years old, he was managing to beat 35-year-old-plus competitors on his second attempt at this world enduro series.

“We are looking to raise in the region of £40,000 to cover medical expenses and an air ambulance.

“Due to an oversight, it turns out Darren’s insurance did not cover Switzerland, where he was racing and was injured.

“Sean and Darren started racing together on the same day in motocross in 1988 and have remained friends and competitors ever since.

“This cry for help is going out to friends, family, motocrossers, scramblers, mountain bikers and everyone who wants to help.

“We so appreciate any donations and understand times are very tough at the moment.”

Talking to the Southern from his hospital bed, Scott, a member of the Gala Harriers and Galavanters running clubs, recalled the accident that put him there, telling us: “I just kind of overshot a corner and it was quite a steep drop. I shot off the track and went over the handlebars and landed on my front wheel, and the handlebars went into my stomach.

“It’s probably the worst accident I’ve had over the years.”

Scott had been in the running for a medal ahead of the final leg of the world enduro series back in the Borders this weekend, at Innerleithen, prior to his accident but will now have to set his sights on future years’ events instead.

He’s not yet sure when he’s likely to be allowed to return to Scotland to continue his recovery but it’s expected to be weeks or even months rather than days.

“I’m looking forward to coming home but I’m not really sure when that will be,” he added.

“It would mean a lot just to get back to Scotland.

“There aren’t that many people here who can speak English so communicating can be difficult. It would be so much easier being in a Scottish hospital.”

To contribute to the 22 Foundation’s appeal, go to https://www.the22foundation.co.uk/donate/