On Thursday 21st January 2016, ten teams from schools in the Stourbridge area took part in the local round of Youth Speaks, the annual national speaking competition for young people who are in Years 7 to 12, organised by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland [RIBI]
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Stourbridge the teams of 3 students demonstrated their presentation skills in the Main Hall at Haybridge High School & Sixth Form. The audience comprised students, their parents and teachers from Hagley Catholic High School, Haybridge High School, Kinver High School, Old Swinford Hospital School, Pedmore Technology College and Redhill School and was swelled by members of the Rotary Clubs of Stourbridge and Kinver.
The teams competed in two categories, Intermediate for students aged 11 to 13 and Senior for pupils aged between 14 and 17. Each team comprised a chairperson who introduced the team and the topic they had chosen, a speaker who presented the subject and a proposer of the vote of thanks who brought the team performance to a conclusion. The judges were from the Rotary Club and Stourbridge Speakers Club.
The winners in the Intermediate category were Olivia Hulston, Grace Bremner and Lucy Walters of Haybridge High School - their topic was ‘‘Dementia; Raising Awareness’’. In the Senior section, Hagley Catholic High’s Ronan Fox, Kyra Robbins and Adam Riley swept into first place on the subject of ‘’My Biggest Concern for the Future is . . . .’’
These two teams will now go forward to the District round of the competition which is to be held on 12th March 2016 at Bablake School in Coventry.
Past President of the Rotary Club of Stourbridge, Cliff Gammon, who chaired the panel of judges, said
’’ Rotary is pleased to be able to host competitions for young people and my fellow judges[ Shelley Jackson-Woodall and Bernie St Aubyn from Stourbridge Speakers Club] and I were very impressed with their courage in taking to the stage and the high standard of their presentations - they were a credit to their schools, their teachers and their parents‘’. He added ‘’ In addition to the Youth Speaks initiative, Stourbridge Rotary Club has already sponsored the ‘Young Chef’ competition late last year, Young Musician in January and plans are well advanced for the ‘Young Photographer’ challenge in a month or so. We now look forward to the possibility of our worthy winners progressing further in the competition.’’