Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Our District runs a major Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) programme.  Each year around 100 young people take part in a challenging week in the Brecon Beacons.  The course focuses on leadership skills, using outdoor activities as the base.  Our objective is to help students develop team-working skills; explore and practice leadership, and develop greater personal confidence.  We hope students will benefit practically, e.g. in work or University life, and be encouraged to take leadership roles within their communities in future.

Recruitment happens between February and June.  Rotary Clubs approach Schools, Cadet Units, Youth Clubs etc. seeking nominations.  Interested students can also apply directly using the email links below.  We have up to 120 places over the three weeks and the range of skills and experiences students have is enormous.  Everyone who applies has to be interviewed.

RYLA is aimed at young people with the potential to become leaders.  Anyone can apply.  You don't have to be super-fit, an academic high flyer, or interested in a particular career.  Leaders are found in every workplace and community, so we consider anyone with the right personal qualities.  There are only two essential qualifications – you must be 16 or 17 at the time of your course, i.e. in the summer holidays, and you must be able to swim.  Although we can’t take students in wheelchairs we can and do, take students with restricted mobility, or sensory disabilities.  

All students experience leading a team of 6-8 others.  Students select one of the four activities to lead, (gorge walking, hill climbing, canoeing and caving).  They are briefed on the key aspects a team leader needs to take into account. These include the technical skills they must explain, risks and risk management, and communication with teammates.  Then they each lead their team in the activity they have learnt about.  The Instructors are there as backup, but the student is in charge.

Overall the programme has been extremely successful.   What the 2017 students thought of their experience is summed up in these quotes from their feedback:

  • RYLA was one of the best weeks I have ever had! Ellen, Cardiff
  • An absolutely outstanding week, the activities never failed to push one's personal boundaries.  Dylan, Pembroke Dock
  • I’ve never met a bunch of people who were so welcoming and kind as my group.  Tegan,  Jameston, Pembs
  • It was very interesting to hear how different all our lives are even though we are all teenagers brought up and living in South Wales. Gwen, Cardiff
  • It helped a lot of people come out of their shells and created friendships that will stay strong indefinitely. Dan, Newport
  • The exercise was intense and certainly pushed me outside my comfort zone, but I loved it. Naomi, Kilgetty, Pembs

If you are interested in knowing more, follow this link:  RYLA Information

In this folder, you will find material that may help you think about whether RYLA is for you, including a sample course programme, a Q & A document, pictures, and a brief note about what RYLA involves.

If would like to attend a RYLA course you can approach your local Rotary Club.   Most of the Clubs in Southern Wales have websites or Facebook pages that have contact details.  Alternatively, if you contact Rob Fry, the RYLA Administrator, via the email below, he will put you in touch with your nearest Club.

1. A video that can be used to help recruit students by showing them real course experiences can be downloaded from this link: Video  (Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner to select the download option). Or if you prefer a DVD can be obtained from Rob Fry

2. To obtain a booking form or for all other enquiries regarding RYLA please contact Rob Fry via the contact box below.

3. The Guidance Notes for Clubs can be accessed by clicking on the link: Guidance Notes

A poster can be downloaded here

Contact Robert Fry about this page:

(ALL fields required)

(If you are a Rotarian, please name your club.)

Rotary Youth Leadership Award pages:

RYLA 2017

RYLA 2017!

more .

Related pages...

Youth Competitions and Timetable

more The dates, locations, and contacts for all our District Youth Competitions

Interact Leaflet 2017/18



RotaKids (Aged under 12 years)


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