Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 2018/19 was successfully organized by the Rotary Club of Colombo and the Rotary Club of Colombo Infinity on the 30th and 31st of March 2019, at Paradise Beach Hotel Negombo.
Leaders become great not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others. Since there is a growing interest for idealistic leadership in order to make the world a better place for everyone, RYLA for the year 2018/19 was organized to enrich young Rotaractors and Rotarians with leadership skills, communication skills, business skills, social etiquette, entertainment skills and much more under the theme of “Be the Inspiration”.
On day 1, as soon as we arrived at the hotel, we were given the RYLA official T-Shirt, along with refreshments. The event consisted with three technical sessions. Before the technical sessions began, the welcome address was made together by Rtn. Kumudu Warnakulasuriya and Rtn. Zainab Abbas – Presidents of Rotary Club of  Colombo and Rotary Club of Colombo Infinity respectively.
Following the welcome, Guest of Honor, District Governor Nominee RI District 3220 Ajith Weerasinghe addressed the gathering regarding RYLA, Rotaract and Rotary. Then the holistic purpose of RYLA 2018/19 was briefed by Rtn. Haroom Careem Chairperson District RYLA 2018/19. In prior to the technical sessions, the itinerary along with rules and regulations were clarified by Rtn. Azmath Iqbal and Rtn. Paneerselvam Saranraj,  Co-chairs of RYLA 2018/19.
As the first item in technical session 1, PDG Thariq Thulba, Rotary District Adviser Service Projects 2018/19, explained the life experiences gained by a person who is moving ahead from being a Rotaractor to a Rotarian.
Ms. Jayomi Lokuliyanage, who resigned from her job at an early age and became the Co-Founder and CEO of her company ZMessenger, which was started 16 years ago,  spoke about entrepreneurship and innovation. Next, PP Dinali Bandaranayake Dandeniya, Rotary District Assistant Secretary 2018/19, made a presentation on work life stress management. 
During this session we were asked to divide into groups and come up with the most stressful matter in our lives and the most stressful matter as a Rotaractor. Afterwards, she explained ways through which we can manage such stressful situations effectively. Another interactive session was carried out by Mr. Shuvo Hridayesh on how we can carry out an interactive presentation with effective communication. 
As the last item of first technical session, Mr. Graham Marshall, CEO Industrial Solutions – CIC Ltd and Renuka Marshall, Managing Director – TBWATAL demonstrated the steps involved in managing projects as a life skill. Before lunch, all Rylarians came together for a group photograph.
With the beginning of technical session 2, we had to present our product/ service investment proposal in-front of a panel of judges from Lankan Angel Network. One week prior to RYLA, each group was asked to come up with a new product/service idea and make a presentation to approach a panel of investors.
After this session, we enjoyed the evening refreshment with cup of tea. Next, we went to the outward bound training session conducted by Quest Lanka Exclusives. It consisted of three different activities.
During this session we learnt to think out of the box, come up with new solutions within minutes while coordinating with a group of people. At the end of this session, every group was given a drama
theme for the talent show, which entertained everyone alike.
As the last session of day 1, everyone gathered at the beach for a camp fire and cherished fun-filled moments of singing and dancing.
At 7 am on day 2 we energize ourselves not only physically but also spiritually through a Zumba session which was conducted by Ms. Maheshi Fernando and a well-balanced breakfast.
We then arrived to the technical session 3. As the first session, Rtn Yukthi Gunasekera, Managing Director and lead trainer, YKG Associates (Pvt) Ltd, coached us on many business and social etiquette such as table manners, behaviors according to the situation, attire differences and much more.
Then Ms. Kasturi Chellarajah, managing Director of Hemas Pharmaceuticals talked on how we can be a leader with passion as a person who transferred herself from being a great sports personality to a great corporate personality. As the last session in technical session 3, PP Deshamanya Rohantha Athukorala, President/CEO Clootrack, Sri Lanka and Maldives District Chairman Rotary Public Image 2018/19 made a presentation on emotional maturity in leadership.
As a part of closing plenary, all the teams was asked to creatively express their take-home messages from RYLA 2018/19. Then the Chief Guest, District Governor RI District 3220, Rtn. Dushan Soza addressed the audience. The concluding remarks were given by DRR Rtr. PP. Amjad Yoosuf.
Next, as the most awaited moment of all, graduation and awards ceremony was commenced. The best team was announced and the best team leader award went to Rtr. Paveen Perera, President of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa. The Best Rylarian award went to Rtr. Kavindra K. Sigera, IPP of Rotaract Club of Kelaniya. Tokens of appreciation were awarded to RYLA delegates. Finally RYLA 2018/19 was officially adjourned, followed by lunch.
RYLA was a great platform to create fellowship among Rotaractors from various clubs and share knowledge with each other. RACUOCFMF thanks and wishes all the very best to the Rotary Club of Colombo and Rotary Club of Colombo Infinity to keep up the good spirit throughout the year.
Written by:
Rtr. Ovin Bimsara (Member 2018/19)
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