When she was a little girl Tirion Thomas tried out dancing and gymnastics, but it wasn’t until she held a rugby ball in her hand that she really found her calling.
“Nothing seemed to work for me until I discovered my love for rugby. When I was 11 we moved to Bala and I joined the girl's rugby team and have been part of the club ever since.”
Three years ago, when the girls team found itself without a coach, Tirion took over duties.
“I couldn't watch the team disappear, especially after how much it had given to me over the years.”
Tirion’s dedication to her club led to her winning one of Welsh sport’s top honours but now the midwifery student says she is enjoying preparing for her future career rather than for the next match.
She was named BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality Unsung Hero for her work coaching Bala RFC’s Under-13s, Under-15s and Under-18s girls teams while also captaining RGC's Under-18 side.
But she these days she says the BMid (Hons) Midwifery course is her top priority.
“It has been my ambition to be a midwife since I was very young. After giving my all to rugby for the past three years I knew this was the time to devote myself to my future career instead.
“I have loved every minute of my training so far – some moments have been harder than others, but they have all been worth it. From what I have experienced so far midwifery is everything I imagined and more.
“Taking a step back from rugby has been challenging but it was a compromise I was willing to make and was prepared for. Now is the time for me to focus on my dream of becoming a midwife.”
However, Tirion is certainly not hanging up her boots any time soon.
Since moving to Swansea from north Wales, Tirion has been training with the University rugby team as well as continuing to provide support to her hometown rugby club.
“Coaching and volunteering is something I thrive on, so it is great to know what I do is having a positive effect on others. Rugby allows me to control my stresses and coaching provides me with joy.
“Rugby will always have a big place in my heart and that is why I am determined to try to work it in around my midwifery career. I want to continue to be part of the rugby community – whether this is playing myself or most definitely coaching.
“Having such an intense career will mean I need a passion in my spare time, something that allows me to escape from everything, to clear my head and stay active while doing something I enjoy so much – and that’s rugby.”