On the dusk of one Rotaract year, and the dawn of another, today marks a very proud day in my calendar. For the best part of the last 2 years, I’ve committed myself to one major goal in my life but today is the day that this huge jigsaw all starts to come together. They say the harder the race, the greater the feeling of reward at the end of it. We still are only halfway through this one, but making Rotaract what is deserves to be is so important for all those individuals who could potentially get as much out of Rotaract as I have. This fantastic organisation, with Rotary in hand, has inspired me for a lifetime. More in due course about that over this year!

So if I can take you back to my first Rotaract meeting in March 2010, those of you who know me today may be surprised to learn that my first meeting was actually in practice my second. Confused? This makes more sense when you realise I didn’t even have the confidence to get out of my car for that first meeting to meet a load of strangers, so I drove off with my tail between my legs. Wow, today I’m further from that position than I ever have been, have spoken to audiences of a thousand people, and what I initially thought was a bunch of strangers has actually turned into the friendliest bunch of people that I’ve ever had the pleasure to work, volunteer and socialise with. To make a positive difference to this world with.

Today, the 1st July 2013, just 20 days shy of my 26th birthday; I am thrilled to become the Chairman of Rotaract in Great Britain & Ireland. We already know that November marks the return of the RGBI Conference since our last proper one in 2009, and we are even formalising two international bids for additional conferences in 2014 (REM – Rotaract in Europe Meeting) and 2017 (Interota), so the road ahead looks very exciting. Our official website is due to be re-launched by the end of August, and our plans for World Rotaract Week 2014 are now even starting to come together – they look awesome too (more soon)! Combine all of these things with a marketing campaign (tbc) and our 6 RGBI council meetings, and you can’t help but be excited. Any Rotaractor is welcome to come along to these meetings to find out more about what we do; although for practical purposes please let us know first! The overarching objective behind all of these activities is of course two fold; to support our current clubs and help them grow, and to work with Rotary clubs to the create new Rotaract clubs in areas where we don’t currently have clubs.

The full list of council meetings will be issued shortly, but our year effectively kicks off with the first one this Saturday in Twickenham prior to the RGBI handover, and the Rotary Presidential handover where we’ll welcome in our first female president of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI). These truly are exciting times to be involved with Rotary in many different capacities! I haven’t even touched on the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon that a number of your RGBI executive team have just returned from inspired by…that’s for another day, but right now I’m excited for what we can achieve in Great Britain & Ireland today for the long term of both Rotary, Rotaract and our communities whether local or global. Bring it on, and do feel free to get in touch 🙂


James Lovatt  (james@rotaract.org.uk)
2013/14 Chairman – Rotaract in Great Britain & Ireland (RGBI)