Youngsters from across Great Britain and Ireland have stepped up to the challenge of public speaking throughout this year’s Rotary Youth Speaks Competition, with the National Final taking place last weekend at Kirkham Grammar School in Preston.
Having progressed through the three local and regional stages of the competition, 14 teams went head to head, speaking on a whole range of topics from fracking to feminism and blockbuster books to first world problems.
The competition is split into two categories; with seven teams each taking part in the intermediate category for 11 to 13 year olds and the senior competition for entrants aged 14 to 17. Each team is made up of three vital members, taking on the roles of Chairperson, Speaker and Vote of Thanks.
This year’s winners in the Intermediate category were Reading Blue Coats School, who were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Henley, whose topic was ‘Are You Selfie-ist?’. In the Senior category, Red Maid’s School (pictured above with Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Peter Davey), who were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bristol, took home the title after speaking on the topic of Introvertism.
Teams are judged on the Chairperson’s management of the meeting; the Speaker’s ability to present and develop a topic and ability to answer the question set for them; the quality and courtesy of the Vote of Thanks as well as the group’s ability to work effectively as a team.
This year’s judges included lecturers in English and Communications, local councillors and representatives from the industry organisations such as The Association of Speakers Clubs, all of whom were impressed with the eloquence and passion with which the young participants were able to demonstrate, often whilst discussing sophisticated topics.
The full results are outlined below:
1st place team: Reading Blue Coats School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Henley-on-Thames
2nd place team: St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Kilbride
3rd place team: President Kennedy School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Coventry
Best Chair: Ted from Reading Blue Coats School
Best Speaker: William from Reading Blue Coats School
Best Vote of Thanks: Eesha from President Kennedy School
1st place team: Red Maids’ School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bristol
2nd place team: Wycombe Abbey School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of High Wycombe
3rd place team: Romsey School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Romsey Test
Best Chair: Ella from Harwich and Dovercourt High School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Harwich & Dovercourt
Best Speaker: India, from Wycombe Abbey School
Best Vote of Thanks: Beth from Romsey School
Published: Thursday 11th May 2016