Youngsters battle in out in public speaking competition

From left: Fareham Meon Rotary Club Vice-President Graham Lawrence with Charlotte Plummer, Thomas Anderson and Teghan Neat from Fareham Academy
From left: Fareham Meon Rotary Club Vice-President Graham Lawrence with Charlotte Plummer, Thomas Anderson and Teghan Neat from Fareham Academy

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Seven schools in the region went head-to-head in the area final of a public speaking competition in Fareham.

Winners from the first round competed in the Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks contest at Cams Hill School.

The competition offers young people experience in speaking on a public platform as a member of a team and selecting a subject they wish to present to an audience.

Organised by Fareham Meon Rotary Club, the area final covered 11 Rotary clubs from Havant to Whiteley.

Brian Ray, of Fareham Meon Rotary Club, said: ‘The ability to address an audience is a great advantage and the earlier that young people develop this skill the better. I wish I had this chance when I was at school many years ago.’

Vice-President Graham Lawrence presented the prizes and certificates of participation.

He congratulated all those who took part and thanked the judges and Gwennan Harrison-Jones, the headteacher of Cams Hill, for the use of the school.

He said: ‘We like to support the community by running competitions like Youth Speaks, instead of just raising money for causes. It’s a distinct part of what we do and demonstrates our ethos of helping the community.’

Bay House School’s team of Lucy Page, Matthew Race and Matthew Hodder won the senior section of the contest with their subject – ‘21st Century Britain – open-minded or blinded by stereotypes?’

Teghan Neat, Thomas Anderson and Charlotte Plummer from Fareham Academy won the intermediate section with the subject ‘Privacy: Who’s Invading Yours?’

John Charles, a retired senior education officer in Hampshire, judged alongside headteacher Maria Ackland and retired teacher Lily Willis.

Both winning teams will compete in the Wessex District finals on Saturday, March 5 at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, Southampton.

The winners from this event will meet teams from all over Great Britain and Ireland later in the spring.