Jaco van Gass
Champion cyclist, adventurer, wounded ex-serviceman
Jaco moved to the UK from South Africa in 2006, aged 20, with the sole intention of joining the British Armed Forces. By mid-2007, he had completed his basic training and joined the Parachute Regiment. However, during Jaco's second tour of Afghanistan he sustained severe life-changing injuries. Through intense rehab and determination Jaco has overcome adversity.
Jaco has completed several marathons all over the world including the New York Marathon, Safaricom Kenya Marathon and the US Marine Corps Marathon, raising money for various charities. In 2011 he was part of a team to trek unsupported to the Geographical North Pole as part of a group of wounded soldiers, raising £1.5 Million for Walking With the Wounded. Jaco followed this up in 2012 with an attempt to summit Mount Everest.
Inspired by the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Jaco turned his hand to cycling. In 2013, he was selected for the Paralympic Development Team and worked his way up to the Paralympic Academy and became a full-time cyclist with British Cycling. Jaco has represented Great Britain from national level to world cup and world championship level.
Jaco's keynotes encompass physical hardship, smashing world records and the ability to change.He has a real drive to inspire others to take on new opportunities and encourage them to improve their lives, both in and out of the workplace, and delivers his story with wit and determination.