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Story of Wales’ first surfing world champion to feature in ITV series

12 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Llywelyn Williams – Image: ITV

The story of Wales’ first surfing world champion will be told in a brand new ITV Cymru Wales series.

Llywelyn Williams won the Para Surfing World Championship in 2022, nearly a
decade after he lost his leg after a collision with a car, while riding his bike.

The Abersoch native suffered life-threatening injuries; dislocated both hips; broke his femur; and shattered his pelvis, before a decision was taken to remove his leg.


Welsh Lives, which follows the stories of inspirational people and communities
throughout Wales, spent several days with Llywelyn over the course of 2023, as he
spent his first year as Wales’ first world champion.

The episode, which transmits at 8:00pm on Tuesday, September 12, features the
story of how Llywelyn nearly lost his life; his long road to recovery; and exclusive
interviews with friends and family.

It also follows Llywelyn’s ambition to promote para surfing as an accessible activity
for other disabled people.


Gareth Axenderrie, Co-Producer of Welsh Lives, said: “From the moment we heard Llywelyn’s story, we knew this has everything you could wish to make an episode of Welsh Lives.

“We have seen the extraordinary footage of him winning the world title last year, but
the journey that has got him to this point is even more remarkable.

“Hearing him, his friends and family talk about the day his world changed forever is

“Filming him surfing on Porth Ceiriad and Hell’s Mouth, just a stone’s throw from
where he grew up, is enough to make anybody want to get on a board and head for
the waves”

“And that’s exactly what this programme is all about, an elite Welsh athlete from a
small community, who has overcome all the odds and just wants to inspire others,
what’s not to love?”

Llywelyn during filming of the new programme. Image – ITV.


As well as looking ahead to defending his world title in Huntington Beach, California
in November, Llywelyn also has the ambition of appearing at the Paralympic Games.

Para surfing is currently under consideration for the Paralympics in Los Angeles in

Llywelyn believes it’s inclusion would prove that surfing is accessible to everybody
with the right support.

Llwyelyn pictured using a drone – Image ITV



Llywelyn Williams said: “To look back at 2011, and wake up in hospital, I lost half my weight, and I could see all my ribs covered in pipes.

“Without the community here, and friends and family, it wouldn’t have been possible.
It’s been a big journey.

“ For surfing to be accessible to everyone that would be amazing. After meeting everyone with injuries I’ve met, everyone has got similar stories about how surfing has helped them get over their depression and emotions.”

Welsh Lives will air on ITV Cymru Wales on Tuesday, September 12th at 8.00pm and is available afterwards online here.

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