Mathew Pritchard

Mathew Pritchard

Professional Skateboarder & TV Star

Tell me a bit about your upbringing:

I’m a Cardiff boy! I was born here, raised here and still living here, I’m proud to be from our Capital City and really excited that the Urdd is holding the Urban Games here.


You were raised in a Welsh speaking family & went to a Welsh school?

Yes! Mam’s a north walian, from the ‘gogs’ – Trefor in North Wales. Dad’s from Ceredigion, near Aberystwyth and all of us spoke Welsh at home. I went to two Welsh schools, Ysgol Bro Eirwg & Glantaf. I think all kids should be going to Welsh schools!


You’ve travelled the world as a skateboarder, do you still speak Welsh?

Over the years I’ve lost confidence with my Welsh, none of my mates speak it and there’s not that been that much opportunity to use it apart from with my family, which is a shame. I’m actually gutted I don’t get to practice it more, that’s another reason why I’m chuffed to be working with the Urdd on this first Urban Games in Wales.


So, skateboarding. How did you get into it?

As a typical 15 year old growing up near Roath in Cardiff, I’d spend most of my time out on the streets with my mates, pretty much like kids are doing today! My friend Damien had a skateboard and once I had a go, I fell in love with it. Mam wouldn’t let me have one! She said it was too dangerous, but once she saw me on it, she agreed, but I had to buy my own! I had a paper round and milk round and saved for ages to have my own board.


Why do you love it so much?

There’s just always stuff to learn and so many tricks you can do on these boards, it’s an exciting sport to be involved in and it’s a fun way to keep fit. We used to spend every weekend practicing in Cardiff banks, near the train station. I met some of my best mates down there.


When did you start competing?

I was 21. My mates had a car so we could travel to these competitions in England, there wasn’t that many opportunities in Wales. That’s why I’m so happy that the Urdd’s Urban Games are happening in my hometown. Kids and pros will be able to compete and learn skills in the same place, it’s going to be epic! Hopefully we’ll inspire and discover the next pro skateboarders.


Did you ever imagine being paid to skateboard?

No way! I wasn’t academic, my dream was to be a stuntman or a chef! I went to catering college, I’m passionate about food and I’ve recently filmed my Dirty Vegan TV show which is wicked!

It all happened when I was competing in Northampton at the age of 21, I was offered my first sponsorship, it was a dream to be paid to do what I loved and it led me to travelling the world, competing, doing stunts and of course the ‘Dirty Sanchez’ series! It’s mad how that came about after an MTV talent scout approached me for that after seeing one of my silly boarding tricks videos! You just never know where these sports can lead you to.


What tips do you have for kids who are keen to get into skateboarding?

Practice! The tricks don’t come easy but it’s worth it. Skateboarding has come on along way since I was a kid. It’s accepted now and there’s actual skate parks and safe spaces to practice. Use these facilities and you’ll make some good friends there too. There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in the taster sessions and compete at the Urban Games, so come and have a go.


How do you feel about being involved in Wales’ first Urban Games?

I can’t wait! It’s fantastic that the Urdd are hosting this, I was chuffed when I discovered they were running it. It means so many more people will find about this brilliant youth organisation that gives so many amazing opportunities for kids and young people to get involved with our language and culture. The Urban Games is unlike anything else the Urdd does, it makes our urban sports and the language accessible to everyone. It’s great for Cardiff, it’s great for our young people and it’ll bring some top names from these sports to compete and discover Wales. I can’t wait to bring my board along and watch everyone enjoying skateboarding in our capital city – my home town and where it all began for me!

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