Speech Olympiad VII
The Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa, an affiliate of Toastmasters International, commenced the 7th volume of its flagship event, Speech Olympiad VII for the Imperial College Challenge Shield with its preliminary rounds falling on the 2nd of July 2013 and the Semi-finals on the 16th of July 2013. This event is one of the most anticipated events in the University Calendar among the students from all three faculties of the university.
The contest, Speech Olympiad, is organized for no other purpose than for the betterment of communication and presentation skills of the undergraduates of University of Moratuwa. The event is reputed for its ability to uncover the hidden and unseen skills of the undergraduates which will undoubtedly aid them in their road to success. This is proven by humbly but proudly acknowledging the fact that Speech Olympiad has produced winners and finalists in contests such as the 'Inter-university Speech Contest' and 'All Island Best Speaker Contest'.
Contestants from all faculties and departments took part in the preliminary round of the competition, out of whom the twelve best speakers were selected as semifinalists, the best five out of them, ventured into the Grand-Finale, and contended to be crowned as the best public speaker of the university of Moratuwa, and for the Imperial College Challenge Shield for Speech Olympiad VII!
The grand finale, which was held on the 1st of August 2013, in the Auditorium of the Department of Civil Engineering of University of Moratuwa, was graced by the presence of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Moratuwa, Professor Rahula Attalage, who admired the efforts of the students who were tirelessly involved in the process of organising such a spectacle to such great effect. Mastering the ceremony and chairing the contest was done by the Vice President-Education of the Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa, Hasini Abeywickrama. The panel of judges comprising of Distinguished Toastmasters was spearheaded by none other than the Club Coordinator, Distinguished Toastmaster Zameen M. Saleem.
After thorough and difficult evaluation of the equally competitive prepared speeches by the five finalists; in the order of Hasindu Siyambalape of the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Dinesh Kenady of the Department of Transport and Logistics Management, Akshika Wijesundera of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Mohamed Yasir of the Department of Civil Engineering and Rafidh Rifaadh of the Faculty of Architecture, they were required to make an impromptu speech of 1 to 2 ½ minutes on the topic “A thousand-mile journey begins with one step”. And after the conclusion of both rounds, the panel of judges announced their results. Mohamed Yasir was dubbed the 2nd Runner Up of the contest and Hasindu Siyambalape came Runner Up. And despite the close competition, the winner of Speech Olympiad VII, whose name will be etched into the Imperial College Challenge Shield for Speech Olympiad was none other than Rafidh Rifaadh. Akalanka Samarasena, one of the project co-chairs extended the gratitude of the club to all parties who helped in numerous ways for such a successful event.
Being the only entity operating within the university with the sole intention of the enhancement of soft-skills of the undergraduates- particularly their presentation, public-speaking and leadership skills, Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa provides a sound platform on which they can burnish their skills by following the internationally accepted methodologies followed by Toastmasters International.
The flagship event of the Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa, Speech Olympiad is a spectacle not to be missed by anyone who would admire the clash of wits and words of brilliant young folks, which enlightens the masses of the importance of public speaking, and brings the unheard voices and opinion to the spotlight by providing them with a stage!
26th July – 2013 – Daily Mirror