AN 18 year-old told Cowdenbeath Rotary Club how he will never forget the experience of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award scheme.

Matthew Thomson, who was welcomed to the club by president, John Gilfillan, and RYLA organiser, Hank John, was one of three young people sponsored by the club to attend the RYLA camp at Nethy Bridge at the start of the summer holidays in July.

He told rotarians that he learned so much that will stay with him as he prepares for life after school.

Matthew, who has spent a lot of his life in China, with his parents being teachers over there, admitted that he was a little nervous when he set out for Nethy Bridge.

“I honestly had no idea what to expect but soon found myself taking part in activities that were a hugely new experience for me,” he commented.

“Rock climbing, abseiling, and a host of team challenges were things that were new but I found learning so many things that will be of a great deal of use to me in the years that lie ahead.

“Having a team of counsellors to offer advice during the various activities was so important, and they boosted my confidence.

“A key element of the week was having the chance to be a leader of your group in different activities, and getting advice from counsellors ensured that I was able to take the task on and succeed, despite reservations.

“Had someone said to me that I would be able to get involved in so many different and some really testing activities, before I went to Nethy Bridge, I would not have believed it, but thanks to the sponsorship from the rotary club I have learned a lot.”