Youth Speaks competition

Rotary Youth Speaks competition

The Rotary Club of Melksham were pleased to enter teams from Stonar School and Melksham Oak into the annual Rotary Youth Speaks competition.

Rotary Youth Speaks started in 1978 to encourage young people to have the confidence to speak fluently and convincingly in public, whilst also learning vital skills such as chairing a meeting or proposing a vote of thanks.  These skills will remain with them for life and enable them to play a vital part in their business and professional life. 

The Club Rounds (involving teams from Chippenham, Bradford on Avon and Melksham) were hosted this year by Stonar School. As always, at the Intermediate level (11-14) and the Senior level one was struck by the variety of subjects chosen by the teams.

The Chippenham Hardenhuish team emerged as winners of the Intermediates, with their courageous choice of 'Should children be educated about Homosexuality in Schools?' closely followed by St Laurence's 'Language' and Sheldon's 'Growing Bigger'.

Melksham's interest was focused on the Senior Round, with teams involving Stonar and Melksham Oak in competition against two Chippenham teams.  It was another hard-fought competition, with Hardenhuish again the winners with a closely argued, convincing talk on 'Why Nude is not Rude'.  The Stonar C team came second, with Sophie Drew as Chairperson, Tilly Thomson as Speaker and Abigail Collis-Smith as the Proposer of the Vote of Thanks, their subject 'Pages over Pixels' convincing everyone that it is better to snuggle down with a good book rather than a Kindle or other technological devices. Tilley's amusing, lively and fluent speech also earned her the separate award of 'Best Speaker'.  Another Stonar pupil, Becky Leigh, though her team was unplaced, also gave an excellent speech on 'Chocolate or Exercise?' convincing all of us that dipping into a box of chocolates is far more enticing than running a cross-country race.   

The first and second teams went forward to the District Semi-final at Sheldon School on February 27th 2015.