Leadership training and skill development course for 18-28 year olds, enabling them to bring new found confidence back into their communities.

Rotary Youth Leadership Award in District 1090 in the Thames Valley

District Organiser: Sarah Shears (Reading Maiden Erleigh)

What is RYLA?

RYLA is a Rotary International programme for young people fully supported by District 1090. It offers young people a special opportunity to to take part in developing qualities of leadership, team working, initiative and problem solving at the start of their careers. Two days are spent team building followed by two days learning new skills, for example, orienteering, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing and slate mine exploration. These skills are applied in a 30 hour group exercise in locations around the Snowdonia National Park, including a night in the open.This develops a more complete personality and the new found confidence and skills are brought back into the community and demonstrated to their sponsoring clubs, by way of a short presentation on their experiences as a precursor to receiving a certificate.

How does RYLA work?

The course is for young people at the start of their working life. Participating Rotary Clubs select representatives of either sex as its nominees. Clubs ensure that the young people chosen come from a wide background of abilities, vocations and social levels and that they are considered to have leadership and development potential.


Where does it all happen?

The week long course takes place at Rhos-y-Gwaliau, a small hamlet near Lake Bala in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. One Rotarian works with each group to assist the staff instructor. Originally the village school, the Centre was adapted to become an outdoor educational base for Berkshire schools but is now privately owned and is the ideal site for this Rotary inspired course. The Centre is staffed by a small group of dedicated and talented course leaders, professionally qualified in the specialised field of outdoor leisure pursuits.

Who is selected?

The short answer is that there is no particular type of person. Indeed the success of the course depends on there being a good mix of both sexes of different ages (between 18* and 28), backgrounds and experience, all with leadership potential.The commitment and determination by the participants to succeed is most impressive. The course is also designed to develop the latent talents of anyone held back by lack of confidence. Candidates must be prepared to contribute to as well as benefit from the course and preference will be given to those who would not otherwise get the opportunity to take part in such an award scheme. It will be an alcohol free week.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. Candidates are sponsored by a Rotary club or possibly an employer. Many clubs sponsor more than one candidate and some involve local businesses who pay for members of staff as part of their development training programmes.


Download a flyer here

The next course will take place from 20th-27th July 2024   

If you are a young person aged between 18 and 28 and would like to be considered for the next course please contact your local Rotary Club or email Sarah Shears (below)

Information for Rotary Clubs

Clubs can download details of the RYLA 2024 course here.


RYLA pages:

RYLA 2024: Information for Clubs

more Details and booking forms for RYLA 2024

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