Youth Speaks 2016

Inter-school public speaking competition

Youth Speaks


The 20th Anniversary Humberside Youth Speaks competition was held at Hull University on Tuesday 23rd February.  The original catchment area of competing schools was North Humberside, now Hull and East Riding, but this year, in the absence of a South Bank competition, schools from Grimsby and Gainsborough also took part.


The organisation and planning is led by Holderness, ably assisted by Humberside, Hornsea, Hull, Hull Kingston and South Cave and Wolds. A blanket approach is made to all the schools in the area, rather than one Club sponsoring one school.  The competition is very popular, and this year there were seven Intermediate teams and twelve Seniors.  The audience for the Seniors was about 120, definitely the largest ever . As well as parents and teachers there were many Rotarians, including DG Margaret Taylor.


There were topical topics like ‘Can we live without mobile phones’,(South Hunsley) as well as challenging topics like ‘Prevention of Terrorism or the protection of Civil Liberties’ (Wolfreton).  The competitors vary from those who are extremely nervous, to those who are over confident, and have no notes, but falter when they forget their lines.  For all it is a valuable learning experience, and a great opportunity to stand in front of a friendly audience and deliver a speech. Some even come again the following year!


This year there were seven schools in the Intermediate competition, which was won by QEHS Gainsborough with their topic ‘Turn off, Switch off, Sleep’ and twelve schools in the Senior competition which was won by Headlands School, Bridlington, with their topic ‘Teacher or Parent’. The schools win cash prizes and the students win shields. All competitors receive certificates.


After the event feedback from the schools was very positive.  ‘Thank you for such a fabulous experience! My students thoroughly enjoyed every minute and the speakers from every school were fabulous’ (Bridlington) and ‘My students are ecstatic having conquered fears and they felt their newly honed skills had come to fruition. Our new Head had never seen such an event and it quite took her breath away’ (South Holderness)


Bridlington you say, surely they are part of District 1040! They are, but they were part of Humberside. We have made our peace with D1040. They were happy for Bridlington to compete across border!  Next year it will be all change!


Peter Bonavia


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