As a racing driver, comedian, wheelchair rugby player and team manager at the world-class OUTsurance call centre, Jzaun Dreyer doesn’t let anything get in his way. We’re just surprised he found the time to speak to us!
Jzaun Dreyer broke his neck during a high-school rugby match in 2006, which left him a C5/C6 incomplete quadriplegic. He is a beneficiary of the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, which has helped him cope better with his disabilities.
“The Fund covers the cost of my custom wheelchair every four years as well as the hand controls in my cars. These two factors alone amount to thousands of rands. I consider myself fortunate and really feel for those who do not have this kind of support and the independence it brings,” Jzaun says.
Despite the accident, he remains passionate about rugby and life. He is motivated by people who say he won’t be able to do something – and his aim is to prove them wrong.
Do you still have a passion for rugby?
Yes! In 2015, I started playing wheelchair rugby for the University of Pretoria, which helped me develop close bonds with others in the same situation. It was
also great to feel part of a team again.
Currently, I play for Impalas at club level and I’m a proud member of the Leopards Wheelchair Rugby Team, which competes at the National Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.
How has comedy helped you cope?
Comedy has brought a huge change in my life. It has opened so many doors for me and it has helped me develop a level of self-confidence that fuels my bravery. From my first open spot to the point where I featured on Comedy Central, I knew it was an opportunity for me to change people’s perceptions about people with disabilities. The material I write is based on the everyday challenges of a wheelchair user and other disabilities.
What impact has your racing career had?
It’s been a dream come true for me to start my own racing team: JD Racing SA. I’ve always had a big love for cars. My brother and my uncle share this passion with me and had a big influence on me starting this venture.
I currently race in the Michelin Cup ZA – a sponsored motor racing championship held over eight months every year featuring various types of cars. I race my Subaru Impreza WRX, which got me to seventh place out of 15. My daily drive is a 2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS.
How has your career with OUTsurance affected you?
I started at OUTsurance in October 2016 as a sales advisor in the outbound department. Within two years, I was promoted to a team manager role. It’s a great place to work and the company is pretty well equipped for my needs. We have easy-access gates that allow me to enter and leave without hassle and the general layout is very flat, ensuring total manoeuvrability.
I’ve also been allocated a designated parking spot in the basement for easy access. The best part, however, is the staff and the culture. Everyone is really helpful – my colleagues, the cleaning staff and even the CEO! They all make me feel like there is no wheelchair and that I’m just like everyone else.