Making An Impact as Opinicus’ New Captain with Vidula Dilnath Liyanagamage
For this year’s Monash Cup I met the captain of the Opinicus, Vidula Dilnath Liyanagamage. His energetic, calm, and powerful delivery of words brighten up even the cloudiest of days. He was confident about this year’s Monash Cup games. “I am not going to lie, but our team struggled at the beginning,” he smiled, “but now I can feel it has made us more passionate about the games.”
Vidula’s first impression of the Monash Malaysia campus is ‘unexpectedly refreshing,’ more so after attending two years of online courses. To Vidula, leading a team constantly requires you to prove yourself, not about what you are already good at, but what direction you propose to them. Vidula’s personal goal and thought process, which is continuously evolving, is tightly intertwined with his position as a captain– like an intricate cobweb.
He recalls his high school experience as a prefect, where he appreciated every moment of student recruitment and peer support. The memory is special not because he spent too much time in school and devoted himself to making others’ school years memorable, but because he still resonates with the feelings from his experience as a person who witnessed his personal development throughout that time. “I saw the true impact such a practical responsibility can actually bring to the community; that fulfillment is still what drives me as a captain.”
Q- Hi! Could you introduce yourself briefly?
I am doing my 2nd-semester, 3rd year in Mechatronics Engineering. The work in the past 2 years was online, and I have been enjoying the new exposure in Malaysia since February.
Q- As a captain, do you think ‘times heals every conflict’ or ‘we have to talk it out’?
Especially when we have a game ahead, talking out works the best. Sharing about what bothers you would feel much easier when shared within the team. What ultimately boosts the team is staying connected.
Q- What would you do if there was a conflict between the teammates?
As a captain, being neutral and fair are the keys to opening the teammates’ hearts and discussing their concerns. Sometimes the situation turns into one versus the majority. In that case, I always put a lot of weight on the team’s voices. Before making a decision, garnering as many opinions as possible is what I perceive as a way of consolidating emotional gaps and conflicts. I also believe that being factual sometimes strengthens the effectiveness that ties the team, which is also something we need to pursue.
Q- Were there hardships preparing for this year’s Monash Cup?
It was slightly difficult to gather the participants for the Cup. But now, during that period, I felt much more enthusiastic about this year’s game altogether.
Q- How would you describe your team using an adjective?
I would say ‘fun’. The teammates are friendly and cooperative in finding the best way to achieve positive results. But what truly binds the team strongly is the same amount of workload.
Q- Nice! Time to know more about you. What is your perfect routine before a match?
I normally listen to music while preparing for the game. And motivational speeches are also useful. Back in Sri Lanka, when I used to play cricket games in school, listening to some inspiring motivational speeches boosted my confidence to stay focused before the game started and strongly motivated.
Q- What encourages you the most?
Thinking about my future goals and working towards them gives me a powerful boost. Even though I fail sometimes, the fact that I am moving forward pushes me to try again. Setting goals for the games and my life is a great routine I found after I started sports. As I finally see myself with endless possibilities, I am more determined.
Q- Why do you think working out or being a sportsman matters in life?
Building up your character is one. Being in a sports team helps you to understand many curves and relationships in your life on a different level. It gives you what circulating situations pierce life. For example, dealing with conflicts is what we always struggle with. Sports is a combination of endless conflicts between your rivals, sometimes the teammates, but most importantly, yourself. Contemplating what this problem signifies, what your stress tells you, and how to upgrade yourself before, during, and after the game transforms you into a different personality, and that is an exciting experience.
Doing sports is like studying or meeting new people; it requires faith, confidence, and hope to make something better in life. And not to be a freeloader!
Q- What do you most look forward to in this year’s Monash Cup?
I am hoping that everyone in the game has memorable experiences. It would be so much more to talk about when it is celebrated with victory; the process towards the final result is rich. I will remember this year’s cup as a memorable journey.
Q- We’ve come to the last part. What is your goal as a team captain, student, and person?
As a captain, I want to win at Monash Cup. Besides that, I hope to provide everyone with an equal opportunity and leave no one behind in this great opportunity. As a student, getting good results from my effort is my current goal. I want to start something of my own as a person. I would like to get the most experience as a captain and student because I believe everything I appreciate changes me profoundly.
Well, thank you for taking the time for this interview, Vidula. All the best for Monash Cup!
Interviewed by Juyeoung Kwak
Photographed by Luanne Choong