Cardiff is proud to boast incredible sporting talent and here are a few names that you should be talking about: Jess Fishlock MBE, Joe Cordina, Lauren Price and Louis Rees-Zammit. Let’s delve into the achievements and lives of these four sporting powerhouses that all hail from Cardiff and surrounding areas. 

Jess Fishlock MBE

Credit: @jessfishlock

Jess Fishcock MBE is undoubtedly one of Cardiff’s greatest sportspeople. Wales’ most capped footballer has had an electric career that has led her to be the very first Welsh player, male or female, to reach 150 caps for their country, won against Kosovo in the second Euro 2025 qualifying game.

Jess, hailing from Cardiff, began her football journey playing with her siblings before joining Cardiff City FC at age seven. She made her senior debut at sixteen and immediately showcased her talent, scoring 19 goals in 23 appearances in her debut season. Her exceptional skill earned her a spot on the Wales under-19 team, marking the beginning of her enduring presence in the Wales national team.

Venturing beyond her hometown, Fishlock’s talent caught the eye of Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar in 2008, marking her as the first overseas player in the Eredivisie. Her time with AZ Alkmaar saw her claim back-to-back league titles, solidifying her reputation as a formidable midfielder.

Jess made a significant impact in the FA Women’s Super League with Bristol Academy WFC, earning multiple awards including Club Player of the Year and Fans Player of the Year. She was also named Welsh Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2011. Continuing her success in 2012, Jess played globally, contributing to clubs like Melbourne Victory and Glasgow City. Currently, with Seattle Reign FC in the NWSL, she remains a key player, helping the team win the NWSL Shield and securing a spot in the league’s Best XI team.

Off the pitch, Jess remains a powerful figure whose influence reaches further than football. Jess has been a role model for the LGBT community across the world and in 2018 she was awarded an MBE for her services to women’s football and the LGBTQ+ community. As she succeeds the 150 mark of caps for Wales and prepares to captain Wales for the Euro 2025 qualifiers, it doesn’t look like Jess Fishcock will be stopping any time soon.

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Joe Cordina

Joe Cordina on Facebook
Credit: Mark Robinson Photography

Joe Cordina has undeniably made his mark in the boxing world. Nicknamed the ‘Welsh Wizard’, Joe was born in Cardiff and began boxing at 15. After training at St Joseph’s ABC in Newport and quickly skyrocketing to high ability, his extraordinary talent led him to win a national title and to join the GB Boxing squad in 2010. According to Joe, he loved every minute of it. Not only that, but he was incredibly successful, as was the rest of the GB team. 

Joe was the first British boxer to appear in the World Series of Boxing, ensuring that he was one to watch by defeating Eric Fowler in the British Lionhearts’ debut. He continued to have a stellar record of matches, taking home the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Then, in 2015, he defeated Georgia’s Otar Eranosyan to be crowned European Champion – an amazing achievement. 

After representing Team GB in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Joe transitioned to professional boxing and has excelled ever since. He holds titles such as the WBA International Lightweight, Commonwealth Lightweight, British Lightweight and WBA Continental Super-Featherweight. Notably, in 2022, he became the IBF World Super-Featherweight Champion after defeating Kenichi Ogawa with a KO in Cardiff, a significant achievement in front of his hometown crowd.

Since then, despite suffering a hand injury that stripped him of his belt, he has defended this title to become a two-time IBF World Super-Featherweight Champion and has incredibly retained a 100% winning streak in his professional boxing career.

Joe Cordina’s next fight on May 18th against Anthony Cacace at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is one not to miss. It will be part of an explosive night of boxing alongside Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk for the world heavyweight titles. If victorious, Joe will be chasing a unification fight to procure another belt and title. One thing’s for sure – Joe Cordina is a boxer that you don’t want to take your eyes off. 

Find out more info about Joe Cordina vs. Anthony Cacace.

Lauren Price MBE

Credit: Essentially Sports

Lauren Price is another athlete battling it out for a boxing World Championship title to add to a decorated list of achievements that she already holds in multiple different sports. 

Born in Newport and raised in Caerphilly, Lauren excelled in various sports including football, netball and kickboxing. At the age of 13, she competed in the 2007 Kickboxing World Championships in Athens, winning the silver medal despite facing opponents twice her age. She became the youngest-ever competitor in the British Championships and went on to win four world championships and six European championships in kickboxing.

But one sport wasn’t enough for Lauren and she also pushed on with a football career. Scouted by Cardiff City for the under-16 team, she progressed to the senior team and helped them to win the Welsh Premier Women’s Football League. As well as playing for the Cardiff team, Lauren played in the Wales under-17s team, and Wales under-19s team (which she also captained). She then went on to win two senior caps in 2012 and 2013 playing for Wales’ Women’s Football team.

In 2014, Lauren shifted her focus from football to boxing, a sport she had started as a teenager. At 17, she participated in an amateur boxing bout and later won a bronze medal at the Women’s European and Youth World Championships. This marked the beginning of her success in boxing. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, she made history by becoming the first British woman to win a boxing medal, securing the bronze.

Four years later, Lauren continued her remarkable journey, winning gold at the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and her first World title in 2019. However, her crowning achievement came in 2021 when she became the first Welsh woman to win a gold medal in boxing at the Olympic Games. Her outstanding accomplishments earned her global recognition and an MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list.

Now, Lauren is preparing to challenge USA’s Jessica McCaskill for her Women’s Welterweight WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine’s World Titles. On the 11th of May, Lauren will attempt to continue her streak of six straight wins since the Tokyo Olympics as she takes on McCaskill – at no other location than the iconic Utilita Arena, which proves to be a symbolic nod to her Cardiff roots. 

Find tickets for the event here.

Louis Rees-Zammit

Credit: @lrzammit

Transitioning from Cardiff’s boxing champions, Louis Rees-Zammit emerges as a prominent figure in the Welsh sporting scene. With his recent decision to pursue an NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs in America, it seems particularly pertinent to look back on how growing up in Cardiff has shaped his career. 

Renowned for his exceptional speed, Louis’s talent was evident from a young age, leading to opportunities with Cardiff Blues and Welsh age-grade teams. But, at 16 he moved away from his home in Cardiff. Instead, he relocated to England for schooling at Hartpury College where he thrived, transitioning to a winger and excelling as the top try-scorer. His success attracted attention, earning him spots in England’s training camp before ultimately representing Wales at the under-18 level.

After a tour with the Welsh under-18s in South Africa, Louis returned to Cardiff following college. His close-knit family support was crucial as he embarked on his career. The next step? Joining Gloucester. Impressing coaches in the A-League led to his debut in both Gloucester and the Premiership. Despite being just 18 and facing seasoned rugby players, Louis embraced the challenge. Playing alongside his childhood idols, he quickly rose to prominence, earning a spot in the Welsh team before turning 19.

After having been scouted from Gloucester and pulled up to the Welsh team, Louis was put through his paces as he adjusted to the new calibre of training and games. His adaptation was swift and after he was kept on the bench for the 2020 Six Nations, Louis went on to not only play in the 2021 Six Nations but also to take home the Try of the Championship Award. After the Six Nations, Louis’ journey reached new heights with selection for the British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa in 2021, fulfilling a lifelong dream. 

Following a successful stint with the Welsh rugby team, which included him featuring in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Rees-Zammit has embarked on a new chapter by transitioning to American football. In January 2024, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Inspired by his father’s background in American football in the UK, Louis is determined to elevate his career once more. With pre-season training on the horizon, he aims to secure a spot on the 53-man roster for the upcoming 2024/25 NFL season. As well as launching Savitar, the drinks brand that’s seeking to revolutionise energy drinks in sport, Louis isn’t letting himself be put into a box. A seemingly unstoppable sportsman in everything he does, at 23, Louis Rees-Zammit has an electric future ahead of him.

What’s next for all of these sporting superstars? I guess we’ll have to watch this space!

Author WCS

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