The Department of Physical Education together with the Amalgamated Club of the University of Colombo organized a two-day Outbound Training Camp at the Batangala Training Center for all the sports captains and vice captains. The main objective of this session was to develop our leadership and team building skills.

We started off Day One with a physical training session which was followed by a few fun activities. These games helped us test our concentration skills and also helped break the ice. Each game was followed by a brief discussion between the instructors and us. We talked about what we felt about the activity, how it related to the sports we played and how it helped us become better people.

70 odd participants were divided into 4 groups and each group was asked to come up with a team name and a cheer. We were then taken for a session on Trust Activities. It is a well-known fact that team spirit is built upon one fundamental quality: TRUST. So we did a few basic trust exercises and ended the session with taking a backward plunge from a 7 feet high platform, with the hope that the rest of the team would catch you! As I fell I thought, ‘ok maybe I’m going to hit the ground instead’; and at the last minute I felt my team mates’ arms and that’s when I let out a sigh of relief.

Next we moved on to the High Rope Course which was also very challenging as you had to maintain your balance on the rope while getting from one end to another. My legs were shaking but I managed to complete the entire round thanks to my team’s constant support!

Day Two of the programme focused on Rock Climbing, Abseiling and Rafting. We were first taken to a nearby river where we had to build a raft in 45 minutes using the materials provided. We then took the raft to the water. Sadly we couldn’t paddle for long as there was a bit of a current. Hence the rafts didn’t move beyond a certain point.

Our next tasks were Rock Climbing and Abseiling and for me it was all about facing my fears. The climb was not easy at all as the rock was rather steep and there weren’t many crevices to place your hands and feet. By the time I reached the top I was exhausted. In fact, some of us took a short nap before beginning the descent (I’m not kiddin’!). I found abseiling scarier than the climb. I had a bit of a late start as I couldn’t get myself to ‘fall back’. But my team mates helped me overcome my fear by distracting me. Mid way I lost sight of my friends at the top and I couldn’t see the people at the bottom. I still remember the fear I felt. I was alone and confused and that was when it struck me that the only way to overcome it was to complete the descent. I had to finish what I had started. And that’s something we can all apply in our lives.

All in all, it turned out to be a great experience for all of us. It’s not everyday you get to go out there and (literally) face your fears. I got to  meet some extraordinary people and make a whole heap of memories that would last a lifetime! I can safely say that I feel more connected with my fellow sportsmen and sportswomen and I will try my best to be there at every game to cheer for Colombo! 🙂