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2012 in Retrospect
Written by Editor    Wednesday, 30 January 2013 11:22    PDF Print Email

 

Akila Fernando, an undergraduate of the Department of Electrical   engineering of the University of Moratuwa, is the outgoing Chief Operations Officer (COO) of MoraSpirit. Having successfully led MoraSpirit to its current status, Akila fondly recollects his time at MoraSpirit. Being at the verge of completing his university career, Akila took some time to speak to us about his experience as the COO.

Tell us about your journey through MoraSpirit.

I officially joined MoraSpirit in December 2010 as the head of content management- which is known today as the editorial pillar.  Before getting on board, I wrote a couple of articles and provided information as an outsider who had been following the work of MoraSpirit. Back then, I was so eager to join the team, to be a part of the crew who had the potential and willingness to make the change we all wanted to see in university sports arena. After performing successfully as the Pillar Head of Content Management, In 2012 I was appointed as the Chief Operations Officer. This was a life changing opportunity for me and I consider it a significant achievement in my life.

How has MoraSpirit contributed towards your success?

Like I said earlier, MoraSpirit gave me so many life changing opportunities and experiences throughout, both as an individual as well as a team member. The corporate culture at MoraSpirit gave me professional exposure while at the university. I was acquainted with all corporate procedures and it served the purpose of corporate training. This is the only organization at university that provides this kind of training to undergraduates and I feel privileged to benefit from it.

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Working at MoraSpirit, I learned how to perform effectively as a team. I learned how to streamline individual efforts to achieve collective objectives. Individual assignments and team projects helped me a lot in this regard.

Having been given the opportunity to lead a team with members from diverse backgrounds has improved my communication and negotiation skills.

The most important thing in my opinion is that all these learning experiences were truly gratifying and I enjoyed as much as I learned!

Tell us about the growth of Moraspirit as an organization, during the past year.

MoraSpirit started as an organization with a very small crew. It has shown an exponential growth since then, and today it has reached out to the entire university population. This concept came up in 2008, and was initiated in 2009 as a collective effort by DC Jayasundara, Heminda Jayaweera, Kirthevasan Kandasamy and Shelan Perera. In SLUG 2010 MoraSpirit started its operations under the leadership of Thiyagarajah Selvamoorthy followed by Ranil Jayasuriya in 2011 and myself in 2012.

There was a period when no one knew what was going around the university sports arena and sportsmen/women were not given enough recognition, to what they are doing and to the sacrifices they are making. Things have changed right now, I don't say it's only because of MoraSpirit, but definitely we have our own share to be proud of.

Most operations of MoraSpirit were expanded during the past year and we have seen more awareness about MoraSpirit as a result of it. We have also introduced some new projects and events.

One of the key objectives of MoraSpirit is to strengthen the bond among members of different sports teams. To support this cause MoraSpirit has been organizing leadership training programs for sportsmen and sportswomen in the university. Last year, we expanded this event into an outbound training and got a lot of positive feedback from participants.

We also organized a socializing event – a beach party for the sporting community of the university. We thought this was a long felt need and it also increased awareness about MoraSpirit not only within our university but in other universities as well.

Last year, we also implemented a news alert system via SMS, so that the subscribers of MoraSpirit can receive news about sports events as and when they occur.

Our fan base has also increased steadily over the past year and is now close to 4000.

What were the key steps taken to achieve this growth?

The most important asset that helped us to achieve this growth is our crew. We made sure that we got the most dedicated individuals through our extensive recruitment process. By working as a team we managed to multiply our creative output. We stand as proof that ordinary people can perform together to achieve extraordinary results!

Another main factor that contributed towards our success is our connection with the alumni of the University of Moratwa. Some of them are past MoraSpirit members. We received a lot of helpful guidance and contribution from them. In fact I can safely say that MoraSpirit has the most active and largest alumni group among all other organizations in the university.

When reporting news items and project details, we remain unbiased and stay true to the facts. This has brought us recognition from other universities and has also helped increase our fan base. Interaction with all universities-state as well as private, has made MoraSpirit a common platform for sports among undergraduates.

How do you envision MoraSpirit in the future?

At present we have a lot of national level sportsmen in our universities. I would like to see these talented undergraduates from our universities represent their respective sports at the Olympics. This is certainly a possibility and MoraSpirit is working towards achieving this dream.

MoraSpirit has already achieved the status of being the exclusive body for university sports. In the future we should be able to build upon this and enter into the national sports arena. While websites such as Pera Beats, provide us with healthy competition that helps us grow as an organization, we will always strive to be different and stand out among the rest.

We would also like to see the establishment of a sports culture in national universities. Unlike foreign universities such as Stanford and Cambridge, local universities do not encourage sports. We would like to see this situation change so that well rounded individuals who are not only academically sound but also exceptionally talented in sports will be produced from our universities.

Do you have any unforgettable moments associated with MoraSpirit?

Every experience at MoraSpirit is an unforgettable experience for me! I will never forget the fun times we had and the things we learned through MoraSpirit. All other crew members will also attest to this fact!

At times, the work was challenging. But at the end of it, it leaves a sense of joy and a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. I will cherish every single moment I spent at MoraSpirit and will not have it any other way!

Finally, do you have any advice for the new board?

Well, I would ask them to carry out their planned operations while always striving to improve MoraSpirit in some way.

They should also explore new methods to access our fans and improve awareness of MoraSpirit. They must adapt to new changes in society and technology, and develop their projects accordingly.

But the most important thing that the new board should keep in mind is that the university system is very unpredictable! Therefore when carrying out a project it is very important to have a backup plan in case things do not work out.

Having said all that, I would like to wish the new board all the very best for the coming year!

 

By Rukshan Maliq

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Editor
Written on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 11:22 by Editor

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 February 2013 09:53 )