I was born on the 18th of March 1993, at the now-demolished East Glamorgan Hospital in Church Village, near Pontypridd in South Wales.
The name on my birth certificate and still on my passport is Brynmor Proudlove-Wilkes; my double-barrelled being kindly donated to me by Sue Proudlove and Tony Wilkes, my parents. If you’re wondering, they were married at the time and are still married now – clearly they just wanted my name to be as awkward as possible to spell out over the phone. I was their second and youngest child, my older sister Rhianwen being born a couple of years before me.
I lived in the Taff Valley for the first year or so of my life, in a terraced house in Quaker’s Yard. We then moved over to Mountain Ash in the neighbouring Cynon Valley. At seven, we swapped valleys once again over to the Rhymney, where I lived in Ystrad Mynach until leaving for university at 18.
During my five years at Loughborough, my parents moved up to Edinburgh, meaning I had no permanent base in South Wales any longer. I’m yet to make the move back to my home nation, having spent time in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham since.
That leads me neatly to identity. Despite not living permanently in Wales for about eight years now, I am as Welsh as ever, if not more so. I am also a proud Celt and Brit, and a European to a lesser extent. As friends will often point out, Loughborough has certainly claimed a sizeable portion of my personal identity too.
I have no religious affiliation, nor am I an atheist as such. My parents are Quakers and I was brought up, to an extent, with Quakerism. It is a much-misunderstood denomination of Christianity; while I haven’t had anything to do with it for many years now, it espouses really commendable values, which have certainly had an influence on my perception of right and wrong.
As with many people nowadays, I wouldn’t say I neatly fit in to any particular ‘class’. My parents certainly weren’t wealthy when they had me but were both university educated and worked their way into comfortable salaries, meaning that I never wanted for anything growing up but I was nowhere near spoilt.