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Today, we'd like to say a huge thank you to Rufi Thomas for everything she does here at Welsh Gymnastics. Rufi volunteers at Fusion Gymnastics and Trampolining and has been involved in gymnastics volunteering for a whopping nine years. 

We couldn't ask for a more friendly and supportive member of the community and we are so grateful for all of her hard work. 

Hi Rufi. How did you first get involved in gymnastics?

"A friend asked if my daughter wanted to go to gymnastics with hers and I said, “Yes - but forget it if you think I’m getting dressed at that time on a Saturday morning!" So, my wonderful friend Kirsten initially took her for me. After about a month, my daughter was invited for a squad trial and that was the end of my Saturday lie-ins - and Sundays too!"

What does your role as volunteer entail? 

"I volunteer in several capacities both in the club and with Welsh Gymnastics and my roles do vary. In a nutshell, I have to be on the ball both physically and mentally when volunteering, providing help wherever I can."

How long have you been a volunteer?

"I've been volunteering within gymnastics for 9 years, and before that most of my adult life with various organisations. Growing up, my mother was always involved as a volunteer with one organisation or another; she has terminal cancer now but in-between treatment she’s still actively involved with the organisations she loves."

What is the best thing about being a volunteer? 

"I meet loads of people and I LOVE to talk. I also love to organise and do new things. There is always scope for learning a new skill and you can dip in and out as needed (as long as everyone is kept in the loop)." 

What has been your gymnastics highlight?

"I won a Welsh Gymnastics branded rosette for best dressed judge in a competition. And I didn’t have to train for months to get it! That will likely be the only award gymnastics award I can scoop as I’m in no way a gymnast, so I’m super proud and will happily show it off!"

"I love gymnastics because...

It’s given my daughter focus, confidence and lasting friendships so I love it for that, but it’s mainly the gymnastics community - from the children and adults who attend for an hour a week to those training 20+ hours. They make gymnastics great."

Thanks Rufi for everything that you do - we are so lucky to have you! Keep up with more on National Volunteering Week on our Twitter and Facebook pages.