RYLA 2022-23

May 27, 2023 | District Initiatives | 0 comments

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 2022-23 (RYLA) was held on the 11th and 12th of March at the MAS Fabric Park, Thulhiriya. The event was organized by the rotary clubs of Badulla, Kandy, Moratuwa and Colombo Infinity. Rotaract always inspires and improves the personalities of the younger generation by conducting various events. RYLA is one of the significant events all the Rotaractors eagerly wait for on an annual basis.

Let us look back at the experience at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards also known as RYLA in the eyes of Rtr. Yezeed Yehiya.

I was truly excited and looking forward to the event since I got the honour to represent the Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura at this event while acting as an Assistant Director. Rotaract is a family for any volunteer who wishes to make new bonds with strangers.

We all started our journey on the 11th of March from the town hall to Thulhiriya. When we arrived at our destination we were grouped into teams of 13 and were all provided an RYLA t-shirt. After breakfast, we attended the opening ceremony where RYLA 2023 was called to order by the Chairman of the organizing committee Rtr. Ravindra Tammita.

This was followed by the welcome speech of Rtr. Ahamed Hussain District Rotaract Representative for RID 3220. Then Rtr. Nimal Rathnayake, District Co-Chairperson RYLA (Rotractors) 2022-23 addressed the gathering on the purpose of RYLA and what it means to us Rotaractors. Then we were given valuable insights on how to demonstrate leadership skills during challenging times by Rtr Devanand Mahadeva.

Then we had an icebreaker session where we were asked to make a circle based on the first letter of our name and birthdate. This was supposed to be done within a stipulated time frame and taught us the importance of effective communication. This was followed by a variety of informative sessions about building our personalities.

One fact that stood out to me was that they taught us that leadership was like climbing a hill where we had to react as per the situation in order to reach the peak.

Then we moved on to take a group photo where we came up with our team name “SPARTAN” and to have lunch with our team where we got to know each other better.

After the tea break, we moved on to the outbound activities which developed our interpersonal skills. The first game was one where we were put into an inner circle and outer circle and it tested our visual coordination and strategizing skills. I and my teammate emerged runners-up in the game.

The second game was where we were supposed to pass a message secretly from one end of a line to the other. Even though our attempt was unsuccessful it taught us the importance of attentive listening and communication.

The outward bound training consisted of many such games which helped build our self-confidence, teamwork and problem-solving abilities which without a doubt would aid me in my life ahead.

Then we were invited to dinner where we were served a buffet. After the delicious meal, we had a drama session where we were supposed to come up with a drama within 10 minutes. Our drama was titled “What if trees talk?” where I played the role of a tree. This was my very first drama in front of an audience and I was surprised that I didn’t have any stage fear. We had the privilege to witness many other creative dramas.

Then we were supposed to have a campfire which couldn’t happen as planned because it rained. However, we managed to have an indoor entertainment session with the instruments we had.

Then we had a group brainstorming session where we came up with ideas for our presentation the next day. We also had some amazing conversations and that marked the end of a fruitful day.

The next day morning we had some physical exercises and interesting team sessions. Then we were treated to a scrumptious breakfast. Later we did a presentation on what RYLA meant for us and our team was awarded the best presentation .

Then we had the awards ceremony where the best among us were felicitated. After lunch, we took our last group photo together and left Thulhiriya filled with memories and friendships worth a lifetime.

Even though I have been a part of many leadership camps and sessions, this was hands down one of the best events I’ve been part of. In my opinion, that is what makes Rotract stand out from the rest. I learned a lot about who a true leader is and what it takes to be one. I would sign off this article with a quote and the hope to share my experience with my teammates at RACUSJ.

Written by: Rtr. Yezeed Yehiya

Graphic design by: Rtr. Malithi Fernando


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