Youth Opportunities/ Youth Speaks 2015 - The Competition (27 January 2015)

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Guernsey Rotary Club hosted its annual youth public speaking competition on Tuesday 27th January. Once again the field of competitors amazed a crowded St James Hall with the confidence and insightfulness exhibited in their entertaining presentations.

Organiser, Rotarian Simon Milsted, said in his closing remarks, "Once again the room was amazed by the confidence and strength of the whole field.  In differing ways each presentation proved to be thought provoking, yet extremely entertaining.  All our schools should be congratulated for the quality of the students that they field in the competition.  Youth Speaks is a pleasure to host with our partners, Mourant Ozannes, and continues to be one of the highlights of our Rotary calendar".

Teams competed in two heats (14-16 years and 17-18 years).  Topics chosen for presentation ranged from "Mary Berry for Prime Minister" a satirical look at society's growing tendency to "watch it on TV" rather than "enjoy it for real"  to "Dinner with Ozymandias" -  an academic speech using Shelley's famous poem allegorically to cause us to question "what legacy do we really leave for future generations?"

Rotary continues to be indebted to Channel Islands Advocates Mourant Ozannes, who sponsored the competition for the tenth consecutive year.  Awards were presented by Rotary Present Elect, John Hollis, and Mourant Ozannes' senior partner, Rob Shepherd, who complimented all the students "for their ability to construct a persuasive proposition and then defend their case against a searching question from the floor of the hall."

The final honours went to Guernsey Grammar School, which won both heats.

L-R: Rob Shepherd (senior partner, Mourant Ozannes), Ben Holland (Speaker), Toby Giles (Vote of Thanks), Abigail Dempster (Chair) & Rotarian John Hollis

Its Senior Team was judged to be the outright winner and will be invited to go forward to the Rotary District Heats of Youth Speaks 2015, which will be held in Andover in Hampshire in March.

L-R: Rob Shepherd (senior partner, Mourant Ozannes), Kirsty Dempster (Vote of Thanks), Cameron Oldfield (Speaker), Tabitha Wherry (Chair) & Rotarian John Hollis