Youth Speaks 2016
4th Annual Event
Local Schools Triumph in Rotary Competition
The Winning Harvey
Grammar School Teams with the Rotary District Governor
The Harvey Grammar School representing the Rotary Clubs of Shepway
swept the board in the District Round of the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition
held in Maidstone, winning both the Senior and Intermediate Sections. They were
ably supported by an exceptional contribution in the senior section from
Folkestone Academy represented by Chairperson: Chloe Ross, Speaker: Lewis
Dempsey and Vote of Thanks: Phoebe Sproston. Their motion was: "Does
Advertising Influence our Food Choices?"
The competition was intense from schools throughout Kent,
but with a combination of style, content and lively presentation, the Harvey
teams battled to victory. Their Senior Team, comprising Chairperson: Connor
Brown, Speaker: Laurence Snow and Vote of Thanks: Owen Smith was brilliantly
and satirically topical with their motion "Playing the Trump Card".
The Intermediate Harvey Team comprising Chairperson: Alistair Carney, Speaker:
Melad Tarjomani, and Vote of Thanks: George Dickerson thoughtfully and cogently
argued their motion, "I am not WHITE, you are not BLACK".
This team also won the awards for the best Chairperson and
As ever, these young people reflect huge credit on
themselves, their families and their educators. I hope they all enjoyed
participating. Rotary in Shepway certainly enjoyed creating the possibility for
their triumphs and will be following their future career paths with interest.
Of special note is the contribution made to the success of the sequence of
competitions, so far, by Rotarian Collen Hill who has led the organisation of
the qualifying events and made the participation by the competing teams so
pleasurable and worth-while.
Connor Brown, Owen Smith, Laurence Snow
Winners: Melad Tarjomani, George Dickerson, Alistair Carney
Report form the local qualyfying competition
There is a personal dread attached to the planning for this
event. As well as the pupils and schools, Rotary itself is on show, so the
event must run smoothly. Luckily we are presided over by the unflappable Collen
Hill, and we have at close hand the genial Harry Wooding and we have a total
confidence that David Owen will preside majestically, and John Gabris will do
the sound and video, John Cox and Collin Hawkins will operate the time signals
and Richard Swan and Bob Nott will ask the right questions. So in reality, it
should be a doddle.
And yet…. There is always some unforeseen occurrence or
omission. The first year we did not appreciate how much voices were lost in the
acoustics of the theatre, so, after the first ten minutes, from then on we have
had to use microphones. These bring their own problems of management. Solutions
courtesy of John Gabris.
And then the plans of the principal guest go awry and we
have to slow down the programme to accommodate this, so long questions and
pregnant pauses to take up time were deemed necessary.
Also, after the programme is printed, we have requests from
schools to the effect that key members of their teams have interviews or time
conflicts that preclude their arriving at the allotted time and could they
appear later in the programme. This year we went through three alterations
before the programme was settled.
So it is always a bit fraught, but once under way so
obviously a valued part of the educational year.
I am amazed at the dedication, skills and poise shown by our
participating teams. If anyone were to question our futures with our youth at
the helm, I could express total confidence that it was safe in their hands.
Rotary is doing sterling service in providing opportunities for youth to
develop and flourish in terms of competence and confidence.
Teams came from
Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, Folkestone Academy, The Harvey Grammar
School and The Marsh Academy and comprised a Chair person, Main Speaker and
Proposer of the Vote of Thanks. They debated a wide range of fascinating
subjects from “The Rise of Fantasy” to “How equal are we to each other?”.
In a wonderful mix of humour and high seriousness the teams
battled it out. The judges were unanimous in their praise for the high standard
of presentation and teamwork shown by all the students.
The two top teams in each category now move on to the
District Final of March 4th. They carry with them the best wishes of
Shepway Rotary for future success.
The Intermediate Section for students up to 14 years of age
was won by The Harvey Grammar School who debated “I’m not white, you are not
black”. Brockhill College with their
subject, “Reconsidering the Education System” came second.
In the Senior Section, Folkestone Academy wondering whether
Advertising influenced our Food Choices was placed first, with the bow-tied
Harvey team second with their topical subject, “Playing the Trump Card. Each of
these teams will be worthy representatives of Shepway in the next round.
Indeed any of the teams taking part would have been worthy
ambassadors and the organisers were grateful to every one participating.
The two chief judges, Mary Tyler and Martin Wybrow, in their
constructive criticisms reflecting the appraisals of their fellow judges, Pat
Chipping, Mark Fletcher, Louise Seear and Peter Heselden, praised the teamwork
and the style of presentation and endorsed the quality of thought that the
In presenting the certificates, the Guest of Honour, Damian
Collins M.P. recognised the quality of the presentations and the benefits of
the competition. He also offered as a supplement to the £100 prize to the
winning schools, a personal visit to the Houses of Parliament to the four
Advertising Influence our Food Choices?
(Vote of Thanks)
The Harvey Grammar
Topic: “Playing the
Owen Smith (Vote of
Performing Arts College A
Topic: The rise of
Charlotte Baldwin (Chairperson)
Nazta Sidique (Speaker)
Maddie Gill (Vote of Thanks)
The Marsh Academy
Charley Lock (Vote of
of Performing Arts B
Millend Rai (Chairperson)
Kieran Burnett (Speaker)
Tristan Broes (Vote
Topic: “I am not
white, you are not black”
Alistair Carney (Chairperson)
(Vote of Thanks)
of Performing Arts
Re-considering the Education System
Nancy Chandler (Chairperson)
Alex Muir (Speaker)
Brooke Harris (Vote
Topic: How equal are we to each other?
Luke Martin (Chairperson)
Connor Booth-Wolfe (Speaker)
Sart-Richards(Vote of Thanks)
Damian Collins M.P. with
Youth Speaks Champions, Folkestone Academy and The Harvey Grammar School
Damian Collins M.P. with all
the contestants in the Shepway Youth Speaks competition