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The Karaoke Night

Karaoke night

It was the 23rd of November, a wonderful Friday evening. Me and my friends, Rahul and Asel, arrived at Hamdhan’s place (a.k.a The Rotaract Achievers headquarters) along with the beverages that were assigned for us.

Hamdhan and Pruthuvi were already setting up the place to host the Karaoke Night organized by the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School. Soon afterward, Hasitha arrived at the event and we finished up the setting in no time.

It didn’t take a long time for other members to arrive as well and I was asked to start off the proceedings. Actually, I started singing a random song which popped into my head and to see I was the person who officially started the night going. So, I gave the start to a wonderful evening by singing ‘Lassanata Pipunu Wana Mal’ by Nihal Nelson. After me, it was Asel’s turn to sing and he sang ‘All about the bass’ by Meghan Trainor. A lot of people willingly took turns to sing, but the Weather had something else in mind. The lightning and heavy rains caused the TV to switch off many times. In spite of the adverse weather, almost everyone volunteered to sing and we were extremely happy to see people enjoying the night.

I did mention that almost everyone volunteered. I said it that way because there were a few who did not want to sing. So Sahan and Yasiru forcefully dragged them into the center stage to sing. I should say that both of them sang well in the end. Almost all the songs sung before we had dinner were English classics and it was so nice to meet people who are still enthusiastic about those songs. Songs like ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton, ‘Let it be’ and ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles, ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ by Elton John were most loved by the audience. The memory that I will never forget was how Sandaru and I sang ‘I don’t wanna miss a thing’ by Aerosmith which is almost impossible to be sung by a sane person. We managed to imitate the lead singer of Aerosmith at all times and right after the song I started feeling my throat as well. I’m sure Sandaru did as well.

After dinner, we switched to Sinhala songs. I remember singing ‘Nadee Ganga’ by Chitral Somapala twice. Both times we sang it together, everyone sang it with all their might. We also sang songs of artists like Kasun Kalhara and Clarence Wijewardene. For a moment it felt like the mood was drooling out. But then entered Anushan, who started off with a Tamil song which I can’t really remember the name of. But then he started singing the famous song ‘Why this Kolaveri’ which brought back the crowd right up. I still remember Aruna videoing the whole song while others sang the song whilst Anushan was the lead singer.

After some time I realized the members from other clubs were leaving. That moment I realized that time has flown and already past 11.00 pm. But the singing didn’t stop just there. The members of our Rotaract club were still there. So, we continued to sing more songs. I started compering as one of those show hosts in big outdoor concerts and everyone thought that I did a good job in that. I’m still trying to remember whose idea was to sing the new viral theme song of Vogue Jewelers. Anyway, Hasitha played that song and surprisingly I remembered all the words of that song and I sang. Everyone was laughing so hard including me and until the next day I didn’t know that Sandaru has recorded it as well.

Soon after Laila sang followed by Sathma. Sathma sang ‘Galway Girl’ by Ed Sheeran and to be honest she was fantastic. The funny part was that she started singing by saying that she is a horrible singer. Then came ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams. That’s where Hamdhan usually loses control of himself and starts singing and dancing. I’m still very eager to know why Hamdhan gets so hyperactive when he listens to that song.

It was a night that I didn’t want to end. But there is a popular saying which says ‘Even the best things have to end.’ So did the Karaoke Night. It indeed was a night filled with great happiness and laughter and truly a night to remember.

Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake

 

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FeaturedOur Projects

Video Editing 101

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As the sun lazily faded by the Marine Drive, and the street lights down the Buller’s Road lighting up the evening. A small crowd was gathering up at the reception of the Achievers Lanka Business School. This crowd represented the members showing up for the weekly General meeting of the Rotaract club of Achievers Lanka Business School.

However, unlike other meetings, there was something contrasting about this week. Most members have brought a laptop with them (while we do have some who tend to forget as well). This was because of our first Professional Development project, ‘After Effects 101!’ that was scheduled to take place later that day.

Rtr. Sahan Munasinghe and I, the two Professional Development Directors for the year 2018-2019 had been continuously nagging, our fellow board directors and club members to take part in this project. Initially slightly reluctant, but when the day came, they all walked through the doorway, slightly weary after a long day but ready to learn what some consider as modern art, video editing.

Whilst paying close attention to the evening’s proceedings, Rtr. Sahan and I, joined by our guru for the evening Rtr. Anushan, hastily ensured that everyone’s laptops had the required software installed and files copied for the upcoming workshop.

Rtr. Anushan Sathananthasarma, one of the humblest characters you will ever meet, is well known for being a great basketball player and being there to help out the club whenever he is required, but this particular evening it was his wizardry in video editing that was to come into play. Being one of the main ‘IT gurus’ of the club for many years and having conducted many past workshops on skills such as Photoshop, Anushan eagerly agreed to mentor our members on video editing.

After the general meeting had concluded, with the projector set and the microphone switched on, ‘Anu’ took his place behind the podium and got straight into work. The main objective of this workshop was to create a video for the membership drive of the club. This involved in stitching together many small clips, editing these clips to ensure that they looked professional, adding photographs, music and being able to vary things like the intensity of the music and playback speed at just the required frames.

Our members eagerly listened in, eyes fixed on the projection on the wall while Anu took them through each and every step, making sure no one was left behind whilst answering the queries he received along the way.

The workshop was carried on smoothly for almost 90 minutes. By the end, every single laptop at the hall had a video playing, made up of small clips, photos, and music. Members who previously believed that video editing was a sort of alchemy that only the tech-savvy could pursue had now created an enticing video which looked classy and professional. The workshop was a SUCCESS indeed.

It ended with all the present members looking much happier than when they came in for the meeting. All the participants and both Rtr. Sahan and I didn’t forget to thank Rtr. Anushan for his excellent mentoring skills and how easy he made video editing seems to be. The day ended with positive feedback on how impressed the members were with the workshop and a few of them even gleefully shouting out about how they would put this newly learned skill to use that night itself to make more videos by themselves.

Rtr. Yasiru Gunaratne

 

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Our Projects

InQUIZitive

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“Standing on the shoulders of giants”, after a successful Rotaract year (2017/2018) for RACALBS International Services avenue, the current Rotaract year started off with hopes of similar success in the IS avenue. With a mammoth uphill task ahead of us, the first International Services project for the Rotaract year 2018/2019 kicked off on August 23rd,2018.

Behind every project idea for international services, the fundamental goal was to educate our members on the many different cultures we live amongst and establish events that promote international relations. Project “InQUIZitive” is the first in a series of projects aimed at fulfilling those goals, by educating club members on the vast number of cultures and vital events that take place around the world. To create a sense of general awareness of world happenings.

The project idea was eventually warped into a competitive general knowledge quiz, so that the learning session had a direct engagement from members, and created general interest for active participation. Project “InQUIZitive” was hosted during the club’s weekly meeting, coincidentally this also happened to be a joint meeting with the Rotaract Club of Informatics Institute of Technology (RAC IIT). With President Hamdhan requesting the presence of IIT club members for “InQUIZitive”, the quiz had a high attendance.

This was organized and hosted by our very own International Services Directors Mariam Husni and Navin Suresh, while the club’s treasurer Nuwanthi Mannapperuma was the designated Gamemaster and Scorekeeper. The most challenging part of the project was finding the right balance in questions, covering a variety of informative topics. To give meaning to the “Competitive” part of the general knowledge quiz, all the members present in the room were split into two teams (Team A and Team B ), without bias for the club they hail from. Coincidently with the two presidents of RAC IIT and RAC Achievers being on two different teams, they both took charge of the mantle of their respective teams. President Vimukthi with Team A and President Hamdhan with Team B.

The quiz rules were simple. There were overall four categories with 6 questions each. Teams have to answer 10 questions each, with having to answer a minimum of 2 questions per category. The categories being Current Affairs, World History, Entertainment, and Business. Each team receives 10 points for answering their question correctly, and 5 points for answering the opposing team’s question, in the event they are unable to. The team to score the most number of points wins. With the rules defined, and the questions set, the knowledge conquest began.

Team A took an early lead in the competition by successfully answering the first few questions, with their points originating mostly from Current Affairs and Entertainment. Team B had a rather difficult start, having encountered some difficult questions in World History, but managed to be right on their opponent’s tail. As we went further into the night, Team A successfully maintained their lead, beating their opponents by a respectable margin.

Like the chess proverb, “At the end of the game the king and pawn go into the same box”, all those present were full of cheers and applause for the winning team. The project turned out exactly as expected, with all those present in the room, leaving it a little more informed about the world, than when they entered it.

Rtr. Navin Suresh

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Our Projects

Score by the Shore

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It’s the last few weeks of June, and the FIFA world cup that brought new football vibes all over the world is almost over with only a few more weeks for the finals. Wherever you go, you’ll be guaranteed to feel the football vibes that was mesmerizing our nation.  So, we thought, what better way to enhance this excitement of the people than to host a football tournament with a new twist, a Beach football tournament. Score by The Shore 2018 was the trendiest beach football tournament to hit the beaches of Colombo, organized by my club, the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School partnering together with the Interact Club of Zahira College, Colombo.

Technically, this is the annual “New Member Project” of the Rotaract Club of Achievers, which is assigned to all the new members of the year in order to get to know each other and get hands-on experience in projects to identify their skills that each of them possesses. For the past couple of years, the New Member Project had been unique and exciting, such as Bubble Football and Archery Tag tournaments in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Given that these two projects are unique in its own nature, upon discussion, we decided to go with Beach Football which adds a unique twist of its own to the traditional game and considering that it was the FIFA world cup season.

The event was held on the 23rd of June 2018, at the Dehiwala beachfront, adjacent to the restaurant, The Station. A total of 18 teams showed up on the day of the event. Although we were expecting teams only from Colombo, there were a few teams from Kandy, Wattala, and Negombo, which showed the reach of the event through PR. All the teams that showed up had some raw talent in football which they showcased throughout the tournament gathered a crowd to watch the matches. Teams from other Rotaract clubs and Interact clubs were also present at the event.

Organizing the event was not an easy task as it was challenging in terms of logistics,  getting permission to host the event on the beach from the Municipal Council and the Department of Coast Conservation, getting permission to host sounds at the venue from the Police Station, getting a generator across the railway tracks and even the goal posts itself which was a nightmare that was sorted at the last moment by our Ex-Treasurer and the present President, Rtr. Hamdhan Sulaiman. The constant support of Interactor Shoaib Fawmy and his team from the Interact Club of Zahira College, eased most of the organizing tasks of the event, constantly lending a helping hand, especially in the last few days prior to the event and more importantly on the day of the event.

The matches commenced at 9 am, and it kicked off really well with some exhilarating action as both teams scored goals which ended up with a win for a team over the other by just one goal. The rest of the games too were as exciting as the first and only kept getting better. Some ended up in a draw and were decided by penalties. All the matches were officiated by four officials from Zahira College, where a couple of them took turns, every other match.

The gameplay was a condensed version of the FIFA regulated beach football due to the limitations of space available at the beach and time. As the restaurant had kindly requested us to finish the event before dark as it had to open the beach area for its customers,the finals ended by 5.15pm, with Team Sal Sal emerging as the champions after an intense match, winning the prize money of Rs 20,000/= in cash, gift vouchers from X-Sports arena along with the certificates. The runners-up, a team from the Rotaract club of IIT, Team Goal Riders were awarded gift vouchers from X-Sports arena along with the certificates. “Golden Glove” and “Golden Boot”, best Goalie and Striker, were chosen according to the talent displayed at the tournament and were awarded prizes sponsored by DSI.

At the end of the day, the feedback received showed that even though the minor hiccups, the club as a team, together with the Interact club of Zahira College, were able to pull off this trendy beach football tournament.

 Rtr. Sandaru Bandara

 

 

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General

9th Installation Ceremony – Rotaract Achievers

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It was that time of the year again. A much-awaited instance of liberation for an exhausted board, and a greatly anticipated moment of glory and pride for an unsuspecting set of “newbies”, oblivious to the many trials yet to come. As much as it was a relief for those that were stepping down from their positions of utmost responsibility, there was still a lingering sense of dissonance in the air. Because while Rotaract has its obvious instances of distress, it’s the numerous moments of bliss scattered throughout one’s Rotaract experience that is remembered. Thus, as can be imagined, the Rotaract Installation was more sentimental of a matter to those involved than you would expect for an event you’d usually sweep aside as a mere formality.

Awarding the token of Appreciation to the Immediate Past President Rtr. Laila Zafir by her Board of Directors.

The Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School has a long history of individuals rising to the occasion to save the day, or in more Rotaract terms: to save a project. If there was one guy who’d keep rising to the occasion over and over again until it was common place to see him become the hero, it would be Rtr. Hamdhan, whom the general public may know by any of the numerous colorful nicknames he has accumulated over the years. While the rest of us were merely enthusiastic, Rtr. Hamdhan was passionate. A trait which he held true to up until the moment he was adorned with the President’s collar and walked up to the podium to address the gathered as the newly appointed President of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School. The level of emotion he displayed at the podium was a testament to all that makes Rotaract worthwhile: lifelong friendships, love, dedication and a zealous hunger to serve.

Handing over the duties to the new President Rtr. Hamdhan Sulaiman by the Immediate Past President Rtr. Laila Zafir

Rtr. President Hamdhan’s heartfelt speech wasn’t the only surge of emotion present that day. Rtr. Naadir’s brilliant introduction of Rtr. Hamdhan despite being literally a continent and several seas away drew waves of laughter and applause from the audience. Hopefully, the revelations made in the said introduction wouldn’t hinder Rtr. Hamdhan’s numerous international exploits- or may I say “attempted exploits”. The customary introduction of the board members also struck a few chords in the emotional spectrum, albeit mostly from the more humorous portion of it. Rtr. Laila’s final speech and her subsequent release of Rtr. Rangesh from her friendzone came in close second to being the highlight of the day. However, the winner and the proverbial cherry on top of the cake was Rtr. Devindini’s surprise pre birthday celebration where the entire hall erupted into singing happy birthday while she awkwardly stood in front of everyone, failing repeatedly to blow out the candles (after the third attempt she gave up and resorted to ignore the flames while she dove in). All in all, at the very least Rotaract Achievers knows how to throw an installation.

The Board of Directors for the years 2018/19

Rtr. Randima Fernando

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Kebethigollawa – A Project Life Experience

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The suburbs of Colombo were whizzing past my window as Shalutha briefed us on what we needed to do when we got to our final destination: Kebethigollawa. It had been little less than an hour since we departed from Fort, and what was left of the morning darkness was slowly creeping away as we struggled to keep in sync with the train’s almost rhythmic jerks and quivers. Besides Shalu there were  four other people in the group: Anushan, Naweed, Mindula and myself.

Each of us had a vague idea of what we needed to do and why we were being sent on this seemingly exciting trip. Project Life is one of the main Community Service projects of Rotaract Achievers, and one that we greatly pride ourselves in. It aims to provide rainwater harvesting systems to areas affected by chronic kidney diseases in Kabiththigollewa. We were being sent to collect the requisite data that would help in determining the homes that needed the rainwater harvesting systems the most.

As the hours passed, the green outside our windows turned to a greyish dusty brown. The temperature within became ever harsher as the train traveled further north. After several hands of cards had been dealt we finally arrived at Vavuniya. Our two guides from the Agriculture Department were waiting for us at the station exit. They lead us to a bus that took us from Vavuniya to Kebethigollawa. The bus trip turned out to be a far less delightful experience due to the scorching sun and the dry warm wind that kept buffeting on our faces. A small sheltered truck was waiting for us at Kebethigollawa to take us to the zone.

It didn’t take us long to realize that we had reached the most difficult part of our journey. The roads were little more than narrow dusty pathways littered with potholes, upon which the truck lumbered along with little subtlety. Within the truck, the five of us struggled to hold on to something so as to not be thrown off. Clouds of dust kept flooding in as the truck moved ever into the dry locality.

Almost an hour later, we arrived at the house of our first candidate. At first glance, it was not unlike any other normal house I’ve seen. Faded walls, brown rooftiles, a polished floor and a familiar feel of homely mundanity veiled the struggle the inhabitants of this household were going through in acquiring clean water. Over a delicious lunch prepared for us by the middle-aged couple living there, we came to learn that the husband was suffering from a kidney disease. According to them, they had to walk kilometers everyday to collect water from the nearest lake and get it cleaned from the public filter system installed in the area. It was startling that they had to follow such a routine to simply get the drinking water they required, whereas we constantly take our privileges for granted.

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Shalu was asking questions and collecting data while the rest of us strolled around the house scanning the surrounding area. A humongous well at the back drew our attention. Upon closer inspection, we came to see that the entire well had dried down to a few cups worth of muddy water at the bottom.

A dried up well, of no use to the inhabitants.
A dried up well, of no use to the inhabitants.

After bidding the couple farewell, we got back on the truck and started towards the next house on Shalutha’s list. The house we arrived at was still being constructed. Three young children were sitting on the veranda, with the thin shade of a wooden beam fixed above them protecting them from the scorching sun. A man whom we inferred to be the owner of the house came out to meet us as we approached the house. We explained to him the purpose of our visit, after which Shalutha began his usual routine of questions. We learned that he was from the army, a fact that he was reluctant to share with us because according to him, people tend to think that they do not need any help if they have any affiliations with the army. A woman appeared from the house and brought each of us a glass of water, as if it was the most valued thing they could give.

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By 6 o’clock in the evening, we had finished all the houses on Shalu’s list and were heading back. On our way back, we came across a blackened field with clouds of black smoke and embers billowing upwards in an indolent fashion, and one majestic tree completely aglow in amber light. Our guide told us that often, one careless cigarette thrown away or a fire lit in the wrong place resulted in an entire area being lit up.

Bidding farewell to our guides from the Agriculture Department, we took a bus to Anuradhapura, because by then the last bus leaving to Vavuniya had already left. After getting a late dinner from Anuradhapura, we walked all the way to the railway station, where we waited for the Night Train leaving for Colombo. By 9.30pm the train had arrived, and we were already in our seats. Moments later, as the train sped along rail lines, I struggled to recall everything of importance that had happened to include in the report, but my mind kept wandering off. In the end, I gave up. I laid back, and let the calm hypnosis of the obscurity passing by my window put me to sleep.

Rtr. Randima Fernando

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Our Projects

8th Installation Ceremony – Rotaract Achievers

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As the famous saying goes,

The Best View Comes After the Hardest Climb

It was that time of the year where the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School welcomed yet another year full of diverse projects while celebrating the success of the previous year headed by Rtr. Maneesha Abeyarathne. What better way to commemorate the beginning of another enthralling and adventurous expedition, than with the official installation of the newly appointed board.

This was without a doubt an exciting day for all the club members as it marked the beginning of a long journey which would instill many memories which each and every member would carry forward with them. Whilst this event was an opportunity to introduce the newly appointed board, it was also a platform which was created to look back on the hurdles crossed by the Club to reach its’ current position.

The 8th Installation Ceremony of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School took place on the 7th of August 2017 at the Royal College Union Skills with the presence of many dignitaries, special guests and fellow Rotaractors of various other Rotaract Clubs of the District. Being our first Project, the event ran quite smoothly and was successfully concluded by evening. However, the process of organizing such an event took place almost two months prior. The Project Co-Chairs included the two newly appointed Club Service Directors, Rtr. Tharindi Thalahity and Rtr. Mohandas Jeyakumar who worked tirelessly in order to ensure that the event was carried out smoothly by looking into all necessary avenues and allocating different Club members to various committees.

The ceremony begins!
The ceremony begins!
Reciting the Pledge.
Reciting the Pledge.

The new Theme for the years 2017-2018 was discussed amongst the board and it was with great confidence that we decided to go with ‘Aspire to Inspire’. To us, this message goes beyond the basic norms of achieving a specific mission whilst inspiring others to improve their level of dedication and commitment towards a great cause. Instead, we draw focus on the spirit of encouragement and how aspiring to achieve a greater good could instill motivation and passion whilst positively influencing others as well.

The Installation Ceremony like any other was anticipated by everyone who was actively involved in making the event a success. The sheer excitement and support from past board members, to newly appointed board members and even the new members who just entered the club less than a few weeks ago was great encouragement to the two co-chairs who worked hard to live-up to the expected standards of a successful Installation Ceremony. The comperes for the evening, Rtr. Siva and Rtr. Ahmed were two new members of the club who joined us just a week before, but took up the challenge of addressing the crowd wholeheartedly.

Initiating the event by the lighting of the oil lamp was thereafter followed by the Welcome Address presented by the co-chairs. In addition to this, we also had the Secretary of 2016-2017 read out the Secretary’s Report for the previous year which provided everyone with the opportunity of relieving and recalling pleasant memories either through organizing or attending an event held by Rotaract Achievers, as well as the Outgoing Presidents’ Address by IPP Rtr. Maneesha Abeyarathne where she shared her thoughts and expressed gratitude to some members’ of the Club.

Recalling fond memories of the past year!
Recalling fond memories of the past year!

The Introduction to the President for the year 2017-2018 was carried out by the Incoming Presidents’ “Best Friend” Rtr. Rangesh, who definitely had many nice things to say about Rtr. Laila Zafir. Moving forward, the Board was introduced with each member having a small video clip with their introduction, and once the induction of the Incoming Board was completed the crowd was addressed by the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor for the evening.

The Board 2017-2018
The Board 2017-2018

With one of the best moments of the night (after the delicious food) being the spectacular performance by Rtr. Nelaka Fernando and Minesh Dissanayake, we successfully wrapped up and concluded the 8th Installation Ceremony with motivation and the commitment to aspire in order to inspire. The words of encouragement provided to us by our DRR. Rtr. PP Anuradha Senanayake, Chief Guest Rtn. Selvaraja Maherakanth, Guest of Honor Rtn. Satyajit Seneviratne along with other Dignitaries, Rotaractors and Interactors will stand as a driving force towards a better performance in the coming year.

Nelaka and Minesh performing.
Nelaka and Minesh performing.
Words of encouragement by DRR. Rtr PP Anuradha Senanayake
Words of encouragement by DRR. Rtr PP Anuradha Senanayake

Here’s to a wonderful year full of memories which would inspire us to be the driving force of change we wish to see in the world!

 

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Our Projects

Artists’ Evening

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An elegant yet peaceful evening dawned upon us on the 15th of July at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Lawn in Horton Place, where Acoustic Collective alongside the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School set the city alight with the first “Artists Evening” – a project in aid of suicide awareness. Due to the nature of the cause, the event was partnered by the CCC Foundation – a not for profit charitable organization providing services in the areas of cancer care and mental well being in Sri Lanka.

The starry night sky provided the perfect roof to the mellow ambiance of the lawn, colored with many bean bags and beautiful lanterns as many people turned up at 7.00 pm expecting an evening of acoustic music to take them away from their hectic schedules, and that is exactly what they got!

The calm before the storm
The calm before the storm

Featuring voices who were previously heard only on the radio and SoundCloud, this amazing lineup of up and coming local artists consisting of

  • Asela Perera
  • Arom Medis
  • Minesh Dissanayake
  • Diarra Wickremasinghe
  • Nelaka Fernando
  • Rashmi De Silva Wijeyeratne
  • Aaron Gunawickrema
  • Joshua Vittachi
  • Thyasha Dissanayake

mesmerized the audience with their beautiful covers and captivating originals. It was an especially proud moment when one of Rotaract Achievers’ very own, Rtr. Nelaka Fernando performed two of his originals titled “Years” and “Chapter One” to the acclaim and delight of the audience!

Worry not if you were not able to attend, here are the moments and music of the day courtesy of Decibel.lk, for you to relive and enjoy.

Overall it was an exquisite and entertaining night, and a brilliant way to kick start the Rotaract year. A big thank you to Acoustic Collective for enabling us to partner with them, to the participants for sharing their amazing talent with us, and to everyone who attended for without you, the event would not have been a success. Till next time!

Rtr. Nichula Liyanage

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FeaturedOur Projects

FIA – The Battle

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Not all battles are fought with swords and bows and arrows. Some are fought with vocal chords, drumsticks and your dancing shoes. Sometimes in packed arenas, in place of blood drenched battle fields”.

This year, the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School reinvented one of its signature projects to a novel, electrifying format, where the grand finale was transformed into a battle, under different categories, for the first time in Sri Lanka.  Adding to the excitement of the battle was the ring placed right in the center of the stadium, replacing the stage. On that ring, in the center of a 360⁰ arena, with the audience as close as possible and the atmosphere as electric as imaginable, the contestants battled it out for the title in the categories of Solo Singing, Group Singing, Bands, Beatboxing and Group dancing.

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This year, FIA was undertaken by our current president Rtr. Maneesha Abeyarathne and was chaired by Rtr. Kenneth de Zilva, Rtr. Rimzan Raheem and Rtr. Hamdhan Sulaiman  with the aim of fundraising ‘Project Life’; a community service project to provide Rain Water Harvesting Systems to areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease in the North Central Province.

Initial round of auditions featured over 100 contestants from the 5 categories. The intensely fought auditions was followed by semi finals and then workshops for the chosen finalists. In the lead-up to the finals, the finalist also geared up for a photo-shoot, which fueled the Social Media segment of the Most Popular Contestant awards, which reached over 50,000 people on Facebook. All this culminated in the clash of 14 finalists in the 5 categories, at the Grand Finale on Saturday the 27th of May at the Royal MAS Arena, from 6 PM onwards. The winners walked away with Rs 300,000 worth of cash rewards and gift vouchers.

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Solo Singing

The Solo singing category was one of the highlights of the finals. It was a complete change over, as the 4 finalist chosen, were asked to pair up and work together, instead of against each other. Their challenge was made unique, as the judges handed a song to each pair and requested them to practice and perform together. The judges constantly worked on their performance, which resulted in a masterful performance of the two songs at the finals.

 

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After the two breath-taking battles between the pairs of Apshi-Moksha and Falan-Lasith, it was Moksha and Falan who made it to the finals. Following a closely contested individual performance round, judges were faced with a very tough choice, And ultimately crowned Falan the winner in the Solo Singing category.

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Beatboxing

This category was a definite show stopper as FIA 2017 presented Sri Lanka’s first-ever beat boxing battle, which had the audience at the edge of their seats. As Anish and Vihan out did each others’ performance as they went back and forth in two rounds of performance,  the audience were left mesmerized by the sheer magic of the music that was made purely by their vocal chords.

The two finalists kept up the intensity right until the last buzzer. This is another contest  which made the job extra hard for the judges but Anish ultimately prevailed to emerge victorious.

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Group Singing

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Vocal Ignite’s excellently choreographed performance made them winners in this category which also featured heart-warming performances by Carllin & Moksha and the Siblings. Vocal ignite were specially impressive as they sang acapella with beautifully synchorized outfits and moves.

 

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Group Dancing

ECANS and Rhythmic squads put up delightful performances in the dancing category. Their beautiful costumes, innovative choice of songs, precise dance moves and excellent synchronization, showed the amount of thought and preparation each group had put into their performance. Ultimately, ECANS came out victorious in this closely fought battle.

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Bands

The performances of all three bands was unforgettable, with a combination of covers as well as originals.

PLAGUE, who had the audience head banging to their electrifying riffs and sensational beats, of their rendition of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, emerged winners in this category, amidst some intense competition from Fire Island La Bandos.

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The event also featured special guest performances by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Julius Mitchell of Beat Boxing fame, and ‘Freeze’. Julius and Prince Leone had the audience in awe while Freeze managed to get them dancing on their feet, to their sensational baila music.

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In all, the audience and the contestants witnessed a night of talent and entertainment they’ll remember for days to come. The committee will take pride in knowing that they have changed the scope of talent competitions forever, and laid the platform for greater things to come.

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Signing off,

Kenneth, Hamdhan and Rimzan

Project Co-Chairpersons.

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Sherwood Shootout: The Game of Tag

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“Archery Tag” doesn’t sound unfamiliar in America and Europe anymore as it has already become a crowd attraction. But for many Sri Lankans, it was the first time they heard the name of this unique sport. On 14th of May 15 Teams filled with excitement walked into the Campbell Park Ground to battle each other out and Team Knockout Kings stole the show. This is how all the preparations prior to the event day set up the platform for Sherwood Shootout and how the First ever Archery tag tournament in Sri Lanka unfolded.

Technically this is the “New Member Project” which is assigned to all the new members in order to get to know each other and identify the special skills each other possess. Every Year the New Member Project has done something unique and entertaining such as Soap Football and Bubble football in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Therefore there was an expectation right from the beginning to pull off something not mainstream. After Days of discussions, we agreed to organize an Archery Tag Tournament which was then something we also lacked the experience of it. But we found it an exciting challenge as we had to organize the project while learning about the background of the subject itself.

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Deciding a catching name was again an important step as it would help us to get the crowds’ attention. After considering many suggestions we came across two which were “Sherwood Shootout “ and “The Game of Tag”. Finally our Co-chairperson Rtr. Kasun suggested that we should combine both names as “Sherwood Shootout: The Game of Tag” and the issue of project name was solved like that. Then we had to choose a venue to host the event. We tried to contact almost all the grounds around Colombo and Campbell Park ground was selected after considering the availability on the decided date 14th of May.

One of the major milestones in any project is finding sponsors. At that point, we were about two weeks from the Event and started to feel the rush as we had to get the support of sponsors for Awards, Beverage and Etc. Meanwhile, we have already started our PR campaign with the help of our go-to IT guys Rtr. Ranoj and Rtr. Anushan. Teaser video we released to social media played a major role in terms of attracting contestants and also sponsors. One of them was Rupavahini who approached to us inspired by the concept of Archery Tag. They took the complete responsibility of Pre-Event and Post-Event Media coverage. It was certainly a morale booster for us knowing that this project has already caught the attention of the Key Target groups.

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Archery Tag League Sri Lanka as the officials took the full control of the event with regard to preparing the field, providing the equipment, scoring, and Judging. Through the commitment and the determination of the two chairpersons and all the committee members, we managed to find sponsors for Prizes and awards. Our target number of Teams for the event was 18 as the gameplay was structured for League format. Everyone approached their colleagues, friends, classmates and pushed them for the registrations. Until about 4-5 days for the event day, we were well behind our target number of registrations. But everyone kept their heads high and managed to get 15 teams on board which was a huge accomplishment indeed.

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On the event day, we assisted Archery Tag League officials in preparing the field, setting up barriers and preparing the playing field. 15 Teams were divided into groups of three and the first round was played according to League format. The top team in each group advanced to the Quarterfinals and the losing teams were given a wild card round played out in a knockout format for a spot in the quarterfinals. Knockout Kings, Kollane, Kimbula Banis, and Titans went through to the Semi-finals and out of them Knockout Kings and Kimbula Banis advanced into the Finals undefeated to battle each other out for the Championship of the first ever Archery tag tournament organized in Sri Lanka. After an exciting battle Knockout Kings were able to eliminate all the five members of the opposite team and emerged as the Champions of Sherwood Shootout. They walked out with Certificates and Prize Money and the 1st runner-up Kimbula Banis with Vouchers and Certificates and 2nd Runner-up Titanz also with Vouchers and Certificates.

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Feedback from the participants after the event showed that they had a great day at Sherwood Shootout. The way it was organized and the gameplay was planned smoothly that they even suggested that we should organize this as an inaugural event in our Rotaract Calendar which of course we would definitely consider about looking at all the positive reactions and what we could achieve in a short period of time.

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Rtr. Ashen Hirantha

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