A former Royal Marine turned TV presenter, JJ Chalmers’ story of mental resilience and overcoming adversity has made him one of the most inspirational diversity and inclusion speakers on the circuit. Since leaving the military he’s also become a talented para-cyclist, winning a gold medal at the 2014 Invictus Games. When booked as a speaker, JJ can explain how he overcame adversity and came back stronger giving audiences a fascinating insight into the military and disability.
In 2011 JJ was deployed to fight in Afghanistan. While on patrol he fell foul of an improvised explosive device (IED) causing him devastating injuries including leg wounds, the loss of two fingers and facial deformities. Following this tragic event, JJ was subjected to over 30 operations and intensive rehabilitation to try and salvage his life. As part of his recovery, JJ took up cycling as a way to keep active and soon found his new calling. He headed to the 2014 Invictus Games in London walking away with three medals including gold in the recumbent road cycling. During his speaking events, JJ’s transformative life story frequently wins over audiences.
Prior to his injury JJ was a highly respected serviceman who entered the military in 2005. During this time, he rose to the rank of lance corporal before being discharged on medical grounds due to the terrible accident.
Now, he has become an incredibly popular TV presenter working as a reporter for the BBC and Channel 4 at a number of high-profile sporting events. This includes the Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and Invictus Games. As well as this he can regularly be found on the airwaves on BBC Radio 5Live as part of the station’s sports coverage and his radio documentary To Helmand and Back was nominated for a Sports Journalists Award. He’s also appeared as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing and as a guest on The Last Leg.
Always challenging himself in every aspect of his life, JJ is an exceptional diversity and inclusion speaker whose mental resilience has helped him to overcome adversity time and time again. When booked as a speaker, JJ discusses his inspiring personal journey to recovery, and how he has since dedicated his platform to advocate for greater acceptance of diversity, particularly disability, in all industries.
“I have to say as I was lucky enough to be sat with JJ, what a wonderful, inspirational man he is and I’ve heard so many fantastic comments from our staff here at Revolution, he really did a wonderful speech and really made a positive impact on our staff and he is just such a wonderful chap. Please do pass on my best regards to JJ and I am so happy that I got to meet him.”
“The conference went very well and JJ was excellent. The informal feedback we have had is overwhelmingly positive. People have described JJ as inspirational, authentic, kept their attention at all times and good balance of humour and excellent content.”
“What a great speaker. Listened to lots of amazing people, more so in that last 5 years or so, JJ – what a great guest – thank you very much for putting this on and extending the invitation.”