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2019 Rotary Youthspeaks Winners

14th January 2019

AThe benefits of being an introvert and the art of squeezing an orange are not the most obvious topics for speeches, yet the LT teams in this year’s Rotary Youthspeaks competition certainly demonstrated that these were more than worthy topics.

The judges spoke about the ‘amazing confidence’ of all of the young speakers, observing ‘it was often easy to forget how old they were – not!’  They said it was heartening to see the future generation being so thoughtful and already learning to have their voices heard, commenting that in our own political system at the moment there are not a lot of good examples of this for young people.  Explaining the importance of connection with an audience they concluded that the best teams of the evening connected with each and every member of their particular audience.  They reflected on the very evident quality of background reading and research across the speeches and said of the young people performing ‘you are on your way to doing something important, being heard; you are the people who can make a difference and all power to you.’

In Team A Mabel set out to challenge the bias in society to always value the extrovert in her speech on the benefits of being an introvert.  She manoeuvred her way through a complex presentation of anecdote, humorous observation and worthy reflection to prove that there is a reason that lighthouses stand still and shine to best effect.  Ably assisted by extroverts as both chair and proposer of the vote of thanks, Tillie and Alishba, the girls worked together and won the competition, which was an excellent result.  Winning was certainly a great benefit for this introvert!

Bex’s witty chairing of Team B with Leony’s pun-tastic vote of thanks proved to be the perfect support for Azahara who brightened proceedings with her spirited, amusing, informative speech on the practicalities of squeezing an orange.  Romping through reflections on Queen Victoria, the cultivation of orange carrots and geographical observations on the orange blossom of Córdoba, she certainly proved that if a girl puts her mind to it, she can speak convincingly on anything for precisely six minutes!

Well done girls, as ever you have done yourselves and your English teacher, amongst many others, very proud!