Hire / Book Victor Vermeulen Professional Inspirational Speaker
Victor Vermeulen was a rising star in South African sport until his accident… He had played South African School Soccer and at fifteen had been invited to play for Cosmos; he had reached final trials of rugby’s Craven Week in both Standard Nine and Matric; he had played four years of Transvaal School Cricket, three years of S.A. Schools Cricket. It was during these three years that he broke Graeme Pollock’s record of 175 not out, at that level. He went on to play in the Transvaal under 24 team, Transvaal B, and then Transvaal A.
Victor even played at Lords, the historical home of cricket with Hansie Cronjé, Shaun Pollock and Darryl Cullinan. Anton Ferreira even went so far as to describe him as the best up and coming young player in the country.
Then, at nineteen, tragedy struck. Victor dived into a swimming pool and broke his neck.
Today, paralysed from the neck down, Victor Vermeulen shares his story of tragedy, hope and inspiration, with audiences around the country.
“I felt as if my mind was being held prisoner in an immobile shell and I’d become frozen inside my skin. I couldn’t do much, but I had made my choice… I wasn’t going to just give up and die. I decided that my life was worth living and I was going to make the most of it; one breath at a time and one day at a time. I’ve never been a person who gives up. I decided to fight!”
“This remarkable young South African’s achievements, against so many odds, have made us appreciate how much we can accomplish,
no matter what stands in our path.
His sprit, enthusiasm and courage serve as a lesson to us all!”
- NELSON MANDELA
Victor Vermeulen had it all. From a very early age, he had excelled at both academics and sports and boasted an expansive list of bursaries and awards. He could have represented his country at any number of sports but his first love was always cricket. At 19 he had already played in a young South African team at Lords, the famous English test ground and was settling into a career with Transvaal. It was really just a matter of time, it was felt, before he would be given the opportunity to go in and bat for South Africa.
Then, a freak accident left him paralysed from the neck down with apparently little to look forward to… Only memories of a dazzling past and thoughts of what might have been.
Victor however, as his name implies, is made of sterner stuff! He did not dwell on the past, but looked at the positive aspects of his situation and with his mother, Isabel’s support and encouragement, set off down a new path as a motivational speaker.
A natural communicator, Victor Vermeulen’s message is a universal one – that it is possible, no matter what the difficulties, to achieve your goals and fulfil your ambitions!
His extraordinary story of courage, optimism and sheer determination is told in his best-selling book ‘The Victor Within’ (Tenacity Publications), which has the following foreword by the late Christopher Reeve:
“Most of us go through life spending very little time, if any, contemplating how we and our loved ones would be affected by a catastrophic illness or injury. Or, if we do think about having to face MS, Parkinson’s, diabetes, a stroke or a spinal cord injury we imagine (or at least I did), that our one life on this planet would have been ruined, not only because of the loss of normal activity but our perceived inability to endure.
Victor’s book and the compelling mission statement for his life, proves otherwise. He shows us that we have two choices in the face of adversity: to give in to loss, or to reach new heights by discovering the power within. Victor has made the courageous choice and has much to teach us.”
- CHRISTOPHER REEVE
What Clients Have To Say:
“Victor’s heroism in adversity has been an inspiration to us all!”
Norman Adami – President & CEO SAB Miller, Milwalkee, US
Victor is the living proof of what is achievable with the right outlook. He is not the loud exhortational type of motivational speaker, nor would it suit him – his power is
in his truth and authenticity.”
Viv Jarvis – HR Executive – London 2012 Olympic Bid Committee
“The entire audience was moved and each took away something different – many said it was the most impactful presentation they had ever heard.”D