Youth Speaks, a Rotary Club Competition

The annual Senior Youth Speaks Competition, for schools in the Royal Borough, was held in the Methodist Church, New Malden, on the 13th November, and organised by the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames.

Pupils, teachers, friends and families of the competing teams, members and friends of the Rotary Club, and The Worshipful Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Mary Heathcote, were presented with very high standard and thought provoking speeches by five teams from, Richard Challoner, Coombe Boys, Coombe Girls, Surbiton High and Tolworth Girls schools.

Each team consisted of three members, a chairperson, a speaker, and a vote of thanks, with each being allocated a set time to deliver a speech. Titles of the talks covered many areas, “Time: it’s all relative”, “The Rise and fall of the Dark Night”, “The Olympic Legacy”, “Are We Slaves To Conformity”, and a rather controversial “Duty to our Parents”, where the speaker implied that there could be an answer to the ever increasing grey haired population, euthanasia.

Obviously, a lot of effort and coaching had been put into the preparation for the night, and all credit must be given to the teachers for supporting their teams both before and during the evening, and it was wonderful to witness teams supporting their competing teams.

Three Adjudicators sat marking the teams, June McCullough, Dr, Helen Setright and Dr. David Lawson, and after the talks and as we all helped ourselves to an array of food and drink, mingling and chatting as the Adjudicators deliberated the results.

After the break, The Worshipful Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Mary Heathcote and Kingston Rotary Clubs’ President Paul Hickson, presented each team member with a certificate of merit. Then the results were anounced.

Best Speaker Stephen Inns from Coombe Boys School

Best Chairperson Jinal Parekh from Tolworth Girls School

Best Proposer Jordan Agyeman from Coombe Boys School

Special Award for Merit Sam Baxter from Richard Challoner

The winning team which will go forward to the next round of the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in March 2013, to represent the Royal Borough was Tolworth Girls School.

The Rotary Club Youth Speaks Competition gives the youth practice and confidence for their future life, both personally and professionally in public speaking, something we all may have to do sometime during our life, with the opportunity to have fun, meet new people, win prizes and a chance to participate in the Rotary Club’s Youth Exchange program, where two teenagers will spend a sponsored week with others in either, France, Germany, Poland or the UK, expanding and understanding others’ cultures.

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