Awards spring from a change of heart

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa’s Ju­lian Leite has learnt to never say never again af­ter re­ceiv­ing two Gey­ser­land Toastmasters Club awards.

Leite, who trans­ferred from an Auck­land club where he’d been for a year to the Ro­toroa club around six months ago, has re­ceived the Doris Moore award for Most Im­proved Speaker as well as the Oral Read­ing Con­test Award.

He said it has been an in­ter­est­ing jour­ney build­ing up to the awards as he once walked away from Toastmasters thinking it was not for him.

‘‘Years back I was taken to a club but I wasn’t ready for it. It wasn’t un­til I went back to study to­wards my di­ploma in busi­ness that I re­alised I would have to speak any­way so I thought I would give it an­other go,’’ he said.

‘‘I be­gan to re­alise it was more than just speak­ing though. You’re eval­u­at­ing and lis­ten­ing as well and learn­ing all those skills.’’

‘‘It’s been great and the peo­ple have drawn me in. It’s re­ward­ing to see how far I’ve come in such a short time,’’ he said.

Leite said since join­ing the club he has also gained his com­pe­tent com­mu­ni­ca­tor cer­tifi­cate which is the first award af­ter 10 speeches. He also re­cently com­pleted his bronze medal cer­tifi­cate for his next ten speeches and is now work­ing to­wards his sil­ver.

‘‘At my other club I had done nine projects so I com­pleted my tenth through Gey­ser­land but in less than a year I have also now done an­other ten so I have ac­cel­er­ated quite a bit,’’ he said.

‘‘You are ner­vous when you first start out so it took me a while but now I al­ways have some­thing ready in case some­one is sick so I can step in.’’

‘‘You al­ways have fun times at Toastmasters and al­ways come away feel­ing re­ally pos­i­tive that you have taken part,’’ he said.

While there is no longer a club in the South Waikato Leite said he would be keen on start­ing an­other one up if there was enough in­ter­est.

‘‘I saw a lot of com­ments on the Toko­roa club’s old Face­book page when I first moved here so those mem­bers must still be out there. It all comes down to num­bers so if any­one would like to see a club started up again give me a call on 022 353 4654,’’ he said.

In or­der to get enough mem­bers he said it might be eas­ier to look at set­ting up a South Waikato club so en­cour­aged peo­ple in­ter­ested out­side of Toko­roa to also get in touch.

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