Judo star Stephanie Inglis warns pupils over motorbike safety

Steph Inglis addresses pupils on motorcycle misuse and associated anti-social behaviour at Broughton High School in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

Steph Inglis addresses pupils on motorcycle misuse and associated anti-social behaviour at Broughton High School in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

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Scottish judo star Stephanie Inglis has urged youngsters to think twice before they get on the back of a motorcycle after she was left for dead at the side of a road in Vietnam.

The Commonwealth silver medallist said she fears she may not be able to return to her judo career after suffering horrific injuries while in the country to teach disadvantaged children.

Stephanie Inglis competed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Picture: John Devlin

Stephanie Inglis competed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Picture: John Devlin

The 28-year-old, from Inverness, said the early morning motorbike taxi journey to the Ha Long school in May turned her life “upside down” when her skirt got caught in the back wheel, dragging her off the vehicle.

The driver failed to stop, and Inglis was put in a medically-induced coma and initially given just a 1% chance of survival.

She said: “The taxis are all motorcycles in Vietnam and the driver told me to sit side-saddle because my skirt was so long.

“I don’t know what happened, but I fell off the bike and was left at the side of the road.”

The next thing she remembers is waking up in an Edinburgh hospital with her family at her bedside in June, wondering what had happened.

• READ MORE: Judo star Stephanie Inglis ‘astounding doctors’

She said: “I just remember waking up in Edinburgh and feeling my head and my hair was shaved on the side of my head.

“I was extremely lucky and had about four or five operations, and I still have another in January next year.

“The doctors have told me I might not get back into competitive judo. There’s a big difference now from how I was after the accident.

“But judo’s been my whole life and something I’ve done since I was aged four. My life has been turned upside down just because I got on the back of that bike.”

The athlete was speaking to pupils at Broughton High School in Edinburgh about her experience.

The school lost one of its pupils, 14-year-old Brad Williamson, in a motorcycle accident in June and the collision is still fresh in the minds of students.

Inglis urged pupils to consider the implications of getting on a motorcycle, as she revealed she now cannot even go to the shops without being accompanied.

She said: I hope people think twice about getting on to a motorbike.

“You are not just ruining your life, you are ruining other people’s lives too.”

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