Private Jaco van Gass

Injured serviceman & Adventurer

Private Jaco van Gass

Private Jaco van Gass is a South African-born ex-serviceman and competitive athlete who is available as a motivational speaker through Champions.

It was during Jaco’s second tour of Afghanistan, after five and a half months and with just two weeks to go, when he sustained severe life changing injuries.

Jaco and his platoon were engaged by Enemy Forces and after an intense 45 minute fire fight, Jaco was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. The injuries he sustained included the loss of his left arm at the elbow, a collapsed left lung, shrapnel wounds to his left side, punctured internal organs, blast wounds to upper thigh, a broken tibia and a fractured knee.

Eleven operations and intensive rehabilitation followed, and Jaco has since completed several marathons, trekked across the North Pole in 2011 (helping to raise £1.5 million for Walking With the Wounded in the process) and attempted to climb Mount Everest in 2012, before having to abandon due to dangerous weather conditions.

Jaco has since turned his focus to cycling and he was accepted onto the Paralympic Development Programme in 2013. At the inaugural Invictus Games in September 2014, he won gold in both the time trial and circuit race, and was accepted onto British Cycling’s Paralympic Academy Programme at the end of 2014.

Not only is Jaco an awe-inspiring public speaker but, more importantly, he is a charming and witty gentleman – his politeness, and charisma make him both memorable and entertaining as a motivational speaker, his ability to mix humour in with the intense drama and seriousness of his personal experiences manages to set audiences at ease whilst simultaneously inspiring them.

To book Private Jaco van Gass, one of the most impressive motivational speakers on the speaker circuit, for your corporate event, military convention or as a guest for your personal motivation event, contact Champions Motivational Speakers by completing the online form or by telephone on: +44 1590 85 29 27.

  • Overcoming adversity
  • Managing change
  • Personal determination


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