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Youth Speaks Competition


By John Pittwood - Posted on 26 January 2017

Caption:  Sir Geoffrey holding the all-important timekeeper’s clock with the green light showing success for (left to right) Geo

Six young orators from the Invictus academy of schools have been given the green light to go forward in a national public speaking competition that could eventually see them crowned champions of the UK and Ireland.

Kinver High School  triumphed in the intermediate category and High Arcal Sports Science College at Sedgley  won the senior section in the first round of the nationwide “Youth Speaks” competition run annually by the Rotary  International organisation in Britain and Ireland.

The Rotary Clubs of Kinver and  Sedgley & Wombourne organised this first local  contest which also involved speakers from Ellowes Hall Sports College in Dudley; Ounsdale High School, Wombourne; and Leasowes School, Halesowen.

Each school fielded teams of three students comprising proposer, main speaker and vote of thanks proposer in 11 – 13 and 14-17 year old categories.  They were judged by a panel headed by Sir Geoff Hampton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton supported by representatives of Stourbridge and Wolverhampton Speakers Clubs.

Members of the winning teams each received £25 and now go forward to the district round to be held in Coventry.  That will be followed by a regional round whose victors will proceed to the national finals in which teams from schools across the entire RIBI network will compete for the overall title of Youth Speaks Champions.

Sir Geoffrey told the audience  at Kinver High School the difference between all the teams was “miniscule, minute”  but one of the deciding factors was the speakers’ adherence to strict time allocations – signified by a series of coloured lights.

Rtn Chris Elcock, who headed the organisational team at Kinver says: “The competition gives the youngsters experience in speaking on a public platform, the formulation of ideas on a topical subject and dealing with that topic in an allocated time”

The Kinver High School intermediate team chose “rape “ as their discussion topic while High Arcal opted for “the pressure of being a teenager in 2017”.

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