Future Stars: Ollie Colmer defying the odds to live motocross dream

Ollie Colmer gets big air while training in Europe

In the first of a new series, we catch up with some of the future stars of motorsport that Adrian Flux have sponsored. In this instalment, we bring you the incredible tale of Ollie Colmer – a 14-year-old motocross rider who was told to give up riding four years ago after breaking his leg twice.

Four-year-old racer

Ollie was throwing his leg over a bike with an engine while most kids his age were trying to master stabilisers on their bicycle. 

It was all down to his dad’s love of motocross and he admits it’s hardly a surprise he was bitten by the racing bug at such a young age.

“My dad used to race and I remember being around bikes all the time,” said the 14-year-old.

“He bought my first bike when I was four and we had a field out of the back of the house that I used to practice on. I didn’t have any fear of getting on a bike or going quicker. It’s kind of what I’ve always been doing and I just took to it straight away. When I was six I started to go down the local club and I’d race other kids my age.

“Every time I raced I got better and stronger and every time I tried a new track it felt really good. It didn’t take long for me to start going faster.”

Ollie with the first motocross trophy he won, aged six.

Broken leg heartbreak

Bumps and falls were all part of the learning process for Ollie as he started to grow and ride at quicker speeds. His dad had grown used to it too. 

But as his son, aged 10 at the time, lay in agony with a broken leg while waiting to be airlifted to hospital, Steve Colmer wondered if now was the time to put a stop to his obsession with motocross.

“Ollie was in lots of pain and his left thigh felt like jelly,” said his dad reliving the heartbreaking 2016 accident.

“I remembered a first aid course I’d been on where we’d been told the femur was one of the most traumatic bones to break in the body and it would have a jelly type feel if it broke. So I knew the seriousness of the injury straight away.

“I explained this to Ollie, got him into a comfortable position and we waited for the paramedics to arrive. He was so brave. One of the things that sticks out in my mind was Ollie talking to the air ambulance doctor. He said: “Do you know Jeffrey Herlings?” and he didn’t and Ollie told him he was three-time motocross world champion (at the time) and he’d broken his femur too.

“Ollie probably thinks that to be a world champion things like this have to happen and they should not stop you from chasing your dream. I knew from this point on there was no stopping Ollie. It was going to be his life because racing is like a drug to him.”

After six years of riding and being considered one of the top talents in Britain, the broken femur sustained during the horrific training crash looked set to shatter the youngster’s dreams of one day becoming world champion.

A thumbs up from Ollie Colmer.

Defying the medics

Within five months of surgery, Ollie was back on his bike but disaster struck as the same femur snapped, this time just while riding, forcing another operation. Surgeons soon delivered the devastating news that he should never ride again.

Fast-forward almost five years and the motocross starlet is still continuing to defy medics as he moves closer to becoming a professional.  

“I’ve had a few serious injuries and I could do something else but I don’t want to, nothing’s going to put me off,” said the 14-year-old Samuel King’s School pupil from Northumbria who rides for the GRT Holeshot KTM team and is part of the RMJ Academy.

“When I do fall off or get injured I’m always keen to get back on a bike as soon as possible. Every time I get on it I get this buzz of happiness and freedom. If I’m stressed with school work I just get on my bike and I feel free. It’s always been that way. 

“I’ve now progressed to 125cc and I just want to keep getting stronger and going faster. The bigger the races the more excited I am and I want to work my way up to the top of the ranks until I’m the best in the world.”

Steve Colmer with Ollie and his sister Libby.

An elite sportsperson

A string of national junior titles and youth international appearances has lifted the profile of the teenager who already has his own monthly column in Dirtbike Rider magazine.

It’s thought he was the first Britain to qualify for all three of the prestigious 125 EMX Races at Belgium’s famous Lommel track on their first attempt. Being declared an elite sportsperson soon followed in 2020 which allowed him to train in Europe this winter.

Once his time in Spain and Belgium is complete, coronavirus-dependent appearances at the British Championship, MX Nationals (UK), EMX 125, Dutch Championship and potentially the World Championships are on the racer’s 2021 radar.

“Ollie’s working so hard with remote learning, he’s on the track four days a week and doing lots of gym and fitness work. He’s so dedicated, he’s inspiring,” added his dad, a gamekeeper.

“I’d rather watch Ollie cook at times than ride his bike. It’s too much for a mum and dad when you see 42 riders at the start wanting to get to the first corner first. When you see him fly through the air over a 40ft tabletop jump you just think to yourself ‘how the hell does he do it?’”

The talented teenager blasts into the dirt.

An expensive passion

Ollie is thankful for every bit of support he’s received from his family and his sponsors to get him this far. 

Yet the financial outlay doesn’t look like slowing anytime soon as his dad explains.

“We’re putting everything into supporting his dream but it isn’t easy,” admitted Steve.

“He needs four bikes at this level and when you’ve got the travel, equipment, maintenance, insurance and other stuff you’re looking at about £75,000-a-year minimum to keep him going. We couldn’t do it without fantastic sponsors like Adrian Flux, Daily Mail, Nando’s, Holeshot KTM, Bodyset and JLP Racing – the list goes on.

“People say we are mad spending this sort of money for Ollie to ride a bike but we truly are racers. It’s what we do, I used to ride and it’s all Ollie’s known. You won’t find the Colmer family out in the sunny Seychelles, you will find us in a muddy field racing and that’s where we are happiest.”

And this future star is never happier than when he’s twisting the throttle, flying through the air or crossing the line first.

The 14-year-old takes to the sky.

Making big sacrifices

Ollie added: “I do miss my family but this is what I’d like to do for the rest of my life. They know that and by the time I’m 16 I’d like to be living full time in Belgium. The facilities, the tracks – there’s more potential for me to make it here.

“School have been great and I’m working hard. It’s lots of online lessons, Zoom calls and it’s always important to have a good education. My mum and dad want me to have something to fall back on but I’m not thinking about that.

“When you win it feels like everything has paid off. It does bother me if I don’t win but it’s part of learning and I’m doing that every day.”

Ollie Colmer gets big air while training in Europe

Photo credits (in order): Jordi Carrascal Rosello, Submitted, Submitted, Submitted, Grietje MX Pics, Reds and MX Park, Jordi Carrascal Rosello,

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