An Abersoch man who became Wales’ first world champion surfer is set to appear on ITV Cymru Wales’ Welsh Lives tonight.

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. He 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 8pm tonight, Tuesday, 12 September, features the story of how Llywelyn nearly lost his life; his long road to recovery; and exclusive interviews with friends and family.

Llywelyn Williams from Abersoch features in Welsh Lives on ITV Cymru tonight, Tuesday, 12 September
Llywelyn Williams from Abersoch features in Welsh Lives on ITV Cymru tonight, Tuesday, 12 September (ITV Cymru/Welsh Lives)

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 inspirational.

“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?”

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 2028.

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

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 is on ITV Cymru Wales tonight, Tuesday, 12 September at 8pm and is available afterwards online.