MoraSpirit completes 8 years

Eight years ago on the 25th of September a great concept was born in the land of University of Moratuwa by the hands of two pioneers, Dilanka Jayasundara and Heminda Jayaweera. They named their new creation as “MoraSpirit - Empowering University Sports”. Together with Kirthevasan Kandasamy, Shelan Perera and Thiagarajah Selvamoorthy, the president of the Sports Council in 2009, they raised MoraSpirit with the vision of inspiring university students in sports and uplifting the standards of university sports in Sri Lanka.

Having kept it’s stepping-stones with only four individuals, today MoraSpirit together with its 100 member family celebrates it’s 8th birthday. Since 2009, for 8 long years MoraSpirit has made its name roar, by marking its footprint not only in the land of University of Moratuwa, but in all other state universities island-wide.

Let’s hear what our Co-Founder, Heminda Jayaweera and Chief Operating Officer, Aruni Rathnasekara have to share on this special day of MoraSpirit.

 

Heminda Jayaweera
Co founder
MoraSpirit

 

Q- As a Co-Founder of MoraSpirit, what do you feel about the 8 year journey of MoraSpirit?

A- MoraSpirit was able to change the culture of sports among undergraduates, especially in UoM and has reached other universities as well. As a personal achievement, even after 13 years of graduation, I am still in touch with university students. I know each and every student who graduated from university during the last 8 years. It is a great pleasure to know the best talent of the country.

Q- What was your WHY in creating MoraSpirit?A- We saw two problems.

A-One problem was that university sports were neglected and not given the prominence that it deserved. We wanted to change that and give the due recognition to the sportsmen and women in universities. And even though sportsmen and sports teams in university had lots of potential, they were not integrated as a whole. So we wanted to unite all sports teams and sportsmen under one body and together promote sports.

Secondly, we wanted to ensure that the cream of the country, the best A/L students graduated with the same potential and great leadership and other skills after 4 years in university. So we thought of creating an opportunity for the students to improve such skills.

Q-What challenges did you face in the course of creating MoraSpirit and how did you manage to overcome them?

A- I was a graduate working in the corporate sector back then. The biggest challenge was to get into the university and create something out of the students. Dilanka Jayasundara and myself met a few talented and highly motivated undergraduates to kick-start the initial work. I think our success was finding the right people to run MoraSpirit.

Q-At present, is MoraSpirit where you anticipated it would be 8 years ago? What more could it have achieved?

A- I believe that we have achieved quite a lot by creating a highly competitive sports culture among Sri Lankan universities. However, I feel that we have not achieved the full potential of MoraSpirit, as we are yet to feature other universities and perhaps look at links with international universities. We also need to gather the initial boost that we achieved through the successful initiation of our flagship project GOLD and steer it to the next level.

Q-Where do you see MoraSpirit in 5 years time?

A- I want to see it grow to a national scale organization – not just limited to UoM but supporting sportsmen and women in schools, universities and even youth in rural areas to succeed in international sports events.

 

Aruni Rathnasekara
Chief Operating Officer
MoraSpirit

 

Q-As the COO of MoraSpirit this year what challenges have you faced or are you still facing, in leading the organization towards greatness?

A- It was quite a challenge to take up the responsibility as the COO of the organization. I was the first woman COO that MoraSpirit ever had. I am always supported by the MoraSpirit family in all the work we do.

The biggest challenge every year is to recruit the best among the many applications we get each year to work with MoraSpirit. MoraSpirit is an organization with a formal structure; there is an Executive Committee, Operating officer, Finance Officer, Pillar Heads and Pillar Members. So it is quite similar to working in the corporate sector with responsibilities and deadlines. We need students who can take up the challenge to work with us and serve MoraSpirit .

Another challenge that I face is in taking the responsibility of my crew which is a family over 85 active members, especially when our members visit other universities for media coverage of sports events. It is also a challenge to keep increasing the quality of our work and to manage all pillars equally.

Q- What drives you to put your effort everyday in bringing up MoraSpirit to a higher level?

A- It has been 8 years since MoraSpirit was established. We have come a long way and I took up the challenge this year to drive it further with the support of the MoraSpirit family. It is not a pull that I make on my own, our executive committee and past MoraSpirit members extend their hands in this venture. It is a great motivation to work when there is support.
I make this an opportunity to thank the Physical Education Division of UoM as well as all sportsmen and women of our university. We have always been supported by the Physical Education Division of other universities as well when we go there for media coverage.

Q-Why do you think university students should join in hands with the MoraSpirit family?

A- I joined MoraSpirit in my first year of university which was in 2014, and then worked as a news operator in 2015 and 2016. This year I went on to become the the COO. I have remained this far because of the valuable experiences that MoraSpirit has given me and due to the satisfaction of putting my efforts into something great. What we do is a volunteer. As we get something from the organization, we also give something in return.
It is a great opportunity to work in an organization like this, where one can improve their leadership skills, build confidence in taking up responsibilities, and also improve their talents. Most importantly, the self-satisfaction that one gets from volunteering is worth remembering for the rest of their life.

For 8 years, MoraSpirit has been able to build a valued brand name not only among universities but also beyond that. Being a MoraSpiriter actually helps in building inter-university connections and friendships. MoraSpirit leads the creation of a strong sports culture among universities.

Q- What actions have you taken so far and are you planning to take in order to uplift MoraSpirit to a higher level?

A- Within the organization we work as teams, and where ever we are, we communicate often to discuss related matters. We arrange pillar heads’ meetings every month and also organize workshops for members to improve their area of work and support them.

MoraSpirit covers all sports events of universities including inter-university sports. Going beyond that we also organize other events such as morale training programs and Splitzer which is an inter-university after-party that celebrates sports victories every year.

In addition MoraSpirit introduced GOLD, a project that aims to discover and nurture Sri Lankan premium talents in sports among A/L students, with the aid of Mr. Chandrishan Perera and Mr. Julian Bolling who are both well known sports coaches in Sri Lanka.

We are planning to empower and inspire youth in sports among all universities, schools and rural areas of the country. Moving on to be a national sports media organization, we would also have the opportunity of connecting with international sports as well.
Finally, I'd like to share today's Birthday greetings and gratitude with our CFO, Haraji Hansanika, my seven pillar heads and every member in the crew. Special Thanks to the Co-Founders and the Executive Committee and all others who supported us to come this far.

 

Article by: Piyumi Yashodha

Edited by: Yumna Albar

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