Monday, 26 March 2012

Youth Speaks - Regional Final

The Frodsham & Helsby Rotary Club hosted the Regional Final of Youth Speaks on Sunday.  In the morning 8 school based teams (aged over 14) competed and in the afternoon we had 8 under 14s teams.  The teams had to show their skills in public speaking.

The teams of three had to have a Chairman, a Speaker and someone to propose a vote of thanks.  The speaker also had to field a question - some of which were distinctly difficult to understand - let alone answer!  The speakers are marked on their content and presentation and can lose marks if they go under or over-time.  I do wish our politicians would note that!

The standard was breath-takingly high - and if anything it was the younger teams that stole the show.  I suppose the under 14s are yet to learn what fear is.  However you couldn't tell a difference in age when it came to the quality of the arguments or the use of vocabulary - the only clue you got was that the competitors were slightly smaller!

It was very heartwarming to see the evident enthusiasm of the competitors and how many of them are already knocking on the door of careers where public speaking will be a key ingredient.

Now Sunday was a particularly difficult day - the clocks went forward and many of us were starved of that extra hour in bed.  In fact one Rotarian forgot to set his alarm appropriately - and it meant I had to step in a short notice to introduce the event.  Some of the competitors had to travel from the Lake District - so for them it would have been a particularly early start.

Now the absent Rotarian gave me the chance to tell an anecdote. 

Telling the time - and not being marked on
public speaking ability - Cllr Andrew Dawson
As a youngster I was a Cathedral Chorister.  The Sunday morning when the clocks went forward was always brutal to a young body.  Your body knew what time it was even if the adults didn't.  What was this nonesense of loosing an hour of sleep.  In protest of the switch to BST I refused to move my watch from GMT.  I started this act of personal defiance at Primary School - it lasted until I got married.  You could imagine my parents angst when it came to exam time - how could I be so stupid to leave my watch on GMT!

Do you know I never, ever got confused - and in fact revelled in my personal defiance of convention.

But then marriage comes along ... and it took my wife to insist that I drop this habit - she was the one getting confused!  One of the teams spoke about whether the modern British Woman is truly liberated.  On occasion it is the man that needs liberation.  You don't have to look too hard to see the thumb prints!

It was another wonderful occasion in Frodsham.  I was also somewhat shameless when it came to promoting our cultural side and the town's bid for Portas Pilot status.  I got the morning crowd to exclaim 'We love Frodsham' whilst recording it on video camera.  With so many wonderful speakers in the audience they were absolutely word perfect - and we did it in one take!

Anyway enough of this waffle - you want to know the winners ...
Tower College St Helens,
Mark Anthony Taylor, Charlotte Rozenbroek-Nelson and Victoria Nicole Looby
In the Senior team event the winners were Tower College St Helens who will go on to compete at the National Final on 28 April in Wrexham.

The best Chairman was Lizzie Whitehead from Dallam School near Kendal;
The best individual speaker was Molly-Ann Jones from Llanfyllin High School Welshpool; and the best proposer of the vote of thanks was Will Bishop from Sir John Deane's College Northwich.

In the Intermediate event the winners were Southlands High School & Techical College - they too are off to Wrexham.

Southlands High School & Technical College:
Bethany Collier, Olivia Latham, Charlotte Tuddenham

Individually -
The best Chairman was Kayleigh Ball from Biddulph High School;
The best Speaker was Rosa Handscomb from Bowland High School in Ribblesdale; and the best proposer of the vote of thanks was Jennie Roberts from St Brigid's School Denbigh.

So some more photos of the event - kindly taken by Ian Tickle.

Bowland High School:
Rosa Handscomb, Niall Doherty, Romilly Sherrington

St Bridgid's Schoo, Denbigh: Jennie Roerts
Dallam School: Jessica Horton
Falinge Park High School: Zainab Kauser