Gymnastics WA relies on passionate and dedicated volunteers to ensure our events are delivered successfully for athletes, coaches, judges, parents and spectators. Whether it be lending a hand every now and then whilst watching your child compete, or taking on a more frequent role, we have something available for everyone. Elsa Meiusset is an asset to Gymnastics WA. She is a prime example of someone giving back to the community and is someone other athletes and judges should admire. We caught up with Elsa to ask her a few questions about her experience as a Rhythmic Gymnastics judge, and how she manages to find time to also compete in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
1) How long have you been a Rhythmic Gymnastics Judge?
Funny I actually had to check my GA account to verify that! I have been a judge for 3 years now.
2) What made you want to become a Rhythmic Gymnastics Judge and what do you like most about it?
I wanted to give back to the community and my club. Being also an athlete and working full time, I know I wouldn’t have the time to be a coach. Besides, our state was (still is!) in need for judges so I thought it was a good way for me to help my club and the sport.
3) Have you had the chance to do much travel as a Judge? If so, what are some of the places you have visited?
Not yet! Rather by lack of time or annual leave than opportunity, but I hope I will.
4) You are known as the brains behind the Rhythmic Gymnastics Scoring Program, holding workshops for other volunteers in the community. Do you find hosting these workshops is rewarding?
Haha, only half the brain! My boyfriend is actually the one who created the code being the program; I can’t take all the credit. If people feel more confident in doing the scoring after these workshops then that’s the most important. I like getting feedback from volunteers using the scoring program so we can improve it.
5) You are also a Rhythmic athlete, when did you first begin competing in the sport? How do you find the time!
My first competition was when I was 9 I think, I don’t remember exactly. My first individual competition I was doing hoop and ribbon. The hoop routine was on a Snow white and the 7 Dwarfs song. I still remember the first five seconds of both these routines! My first Group competition (we were doing both group and individual) was a clubs routine on a song from Pulp Fiction movie. How do I find the time? Well, I probably don’t train as many hours as a Level 10 athlete should! I try to leave work early some days and stay late other days. My Saturday is my only full training.
6) Do you play any other sports in your “spare time”?
I do, I play beach volleyball. I try to participate to the State Series in summer when it doesn’t clash with Gymnastics competitions. Otherwise I play in our local competition once or twice a week. I used to play indoor volleyball in winter but I never went back after breaking my ankle in 2015.
7) Do you have any advice for Beginner Judges who have recently accredited, or athletes who are keen to give back to the sport?
To athletes I would say: join us! Many athletes stop because gymnastics requires a lot of time investment. Being a judge is a good way I found to keep in touch with the sport, give back to the community and not spend hours in the gym every week. Also if you are or were an athlete you know the sport so learning the judging side will be easy for you. To Beginner Judges I would say: don’t be scared! Don’t be scared to be a judge but also don’t be scared to ask questions, we all started as beginners. Get in touch with your club and other fellow judges to come to a training session and get some practice every now and then.
8) What is your favourite memory at a gymnastics event as either a judge or athlete and which event was it?
Actually 2 similar memories come to my mind. First is from 2000 at Group Nationals in France, waiting for presentations and… we won! There weren’t many other Groups that year but we had a great score, best of our season. We were overjoyed and our coach too. My other great memory is 2017 when Krasi texted me that I qualified for Nationals. I couldn’t believe it!
Gymnastics WA would like to thank Elsa for all her help in her judging capacity and with the scoring program. Be sure to say hi if you see her around at competitions!
Want to know more about volunteering with Gymnastics WA? Read through our Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities document or register for the next Floor Manager & Volunteer Workshop here. For further information or to express interest, contact Lucy Young on (08) 9228 9399 or email@example.com