A group of 65 students from Grade 12 were brought together for a two day leadership programme on 25th and 26th October 2019. The sessions were conducted by Mr Manik Senanayake (an old Trinitian) at the Serendib Stone Hotel, Kundasale.
The leadership programme is uniquely catered to develop the Trinitians who are expected to take over important school responsibilities in the following year.
The participants assembled in the Quadrangle at 8.30 in the morning to be blessed by our Chaplain, followed by a few words of advice by our Vice-Principal, Mr K. Anthonydas, and Co-Vice Principal, Mr A.S. Marasinghe.
The boys then set off with Mr Nalin Wijeratne (a master from Upper School) to the hotel. They were treated with mesmerizing views of Kandy and a welcome drink.
They were greeted warmly by the speaker Mr Senanayake. The students thought of the event to be no different from a lecture. This was to be proven wrong soon enough as they were randomly put in to five different teams, these were later to be ranked on their performance on the activities. The heat was definitely on!
The day was filled with fun team building activities which proved not only to be an unorthodox way of learning but also a strong tool to integrate skills such as communication, unity, cooperation, and interpretation. Of course there was the added element of competition among the groups, with each member having to ‘think on their feet’
The energy flowed well in to the night with more fun activities conducted by Mr. Varuna. After the intense session, the students retired to their boarding (Valesca and Ireland Jones) to recharge their batteries for the next day.
After dinner, there was also an interesting discussion conducted by Mr Waruna (a master from Middle School) based on having unity among peers, respecting parents and many more qualities that a leader should have.
Things started on a positive note the next day morning with a yoga session, which was a first time experience for most students. The morning was filled with peace and also with energy which could literally be felt in the air.
Things quickly gathered steam as the competitions continued, with a new stake: the winning team can spend an entire day at the hotel. Now there was something to lose and the teams were not giving up easily.
After a hearty lunch the session came to its climax as students were introduced to a very interesting subject: to discuss how boys tend to create groups, or rather gatherings, in order to seek power, seniority and authority over others.
They were asked to analyse the problem, interpret it, and seek viable solutions that can be put forth to avoid such groups or organizations being created in the future. Every team immersed themselves in this, with a wide range of solutions suggested. This was no longer a simple concern to win the competition but an attempt to restore to our school its values and strengths.
In the end, the students realised they were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to equip themselves with the skills required of true leaders and as gentlemen of Trinity.
Our humble gratitude goes to Mr Manik Senanayake who spent his valuable time with us, and we also thank the school management for organising such an exciting leadership programme.
Reviewed by Yadesh Mohandas and Akmal Fareekdeen
Comments from the participants
“It was fantastic! We learnt the qualities and the attitudes a leader should develop and I think this made a big change in our life. We would be happy if they organize another program like this so we can showcase our talents and gain many benefits which would help us to have a better future” – Pasan Ganegoda
“We had many outdoor games on the first day. We did those as groups but the important thing was we didn’t get to choose who we want, Mr. Manik Senanayke did that. He said we need to be with new people without being with the same ones. That was a good idea too. On the second day we had many leadership building activities such as giving speeches and doing presentations. Everyone was given a chance to speak. It was one of the best experiences I have had. Not only that but the presentations about leadership by Mr. Senanayke were also very educational. Actually, we loved every second of it!” – Luchitha Jayawardena
“It was an impressive program which allowed us to get sound insights about ourselves as individuals and leaders. It also helped us to understand how others perceived our actions . The program was truly helpful as it gave us tools to succeed as good leaders. It was indeed a great opportunity to enhance our leadership skills and we are grateful for this.” – Kesarinda Egodawela
“It was a great opportunity to take part in the leadership programme which helped us a lot in many ways to build our future.” – Janidu de alwis