Rotary Youth Competitions

From Rotary Club local heats to national finals, Rotary Youth Competitions in a range of creative areas let young people’s skills flourish.


Here in Swindon North & Thamesdown Rotary Club, 12 year old Bailey L'Estrange and 9 year old Oliver Kayente were winners at the Club level stage of Young Writer and Young Photographer respectively.  Both were presented with a trophy, certificate and Amazon vouchers at our meeting on 5th December 2022 (in the pictures above).

The annual Rotary Young Photographer Competition is one of ten competitions organised by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland to challenge young minds.   It provides an opportunity for young photographers to share their talents of capturing moments which easily skip the human eye.

Each year the participants are provided with a theme to focus on, with this year’s being ‘Colours of Nature’.  In three age-group sections, participants aged from 7 to 17 were asked to express themselves through a lens and show their interpretation of the annual theme in the most creative way.

Our Rotary Club selected the photograph entered by 9 year old Oliver Kayente from Swindon for forwarding to the District heats but unfortunately his black-and-white photograph of the iconic diving board at Coate Water was unplaced.

Rotary Young Photographer 2022: The national results

Another of the ten competitions organised by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland to challenge young minds is Young Writer.  It provides an opportunity for young writers to express their creative side through written prose of their choice.

Each year the participants are given a theme to focus on, with this year’s theme being ‘Environment’.  In three age-group sections, participants aged from 7 to 17 were asked to write a piece of prose of any sort, whether it is a poem, journal or short story.

Our Rotary Club selected the entry submitted by 12 year old Bailey L’Estrange from Swindon for forwarding to the District heats but unfortunately her story about the plight of a turtle caught up in plastic items strewn on a beach (below) was unplaced.

Rotary Young Writer 2022: The national results

Packing some of her favourite things, she decided to run away. Not too far, just to the beach 
down the road. She’d never been out on her own before, but she felt confident today.

Sage was known as the ‘bad kid’ around the town. She never did as she was told, and had 
that kind of cheeky look. Her hair was ginger and very frizzy, it looked like it hadn’t been 
brushed for weeks. Her eyes were a deep brown, perfect for convincing adults to let her off, 
and her face was covered in freckles, because she often went to the beach with her family, 
and never wore sun cream.

She ran to the beach, not looking where she was going.

“Oi watch it kid!” a random adult said as she almost bumped into them.

She said nothing, just scowled back at them and carried on running.

Finally, she arrived at the beach, and just stopped as she let the wind blow into her face. Her 
face wrinkled in disgust, she hadn’t been to this beach since summer, and now it was 
covered in rubbish. It was winter, so there was nobody there, but still, it was covered in 
plastic bottles, bin bags and much more.

It was colder than usual, so she untied her jacket from her waist and put it on. She decided 
to head towards the sea, but as she got there, it was way too cold to swim in, so went and 
settled for the rockpools. She stepped over the little stream, and walked towards the rockier
part of the beach. After finding her favourite rock, she sat down and ate her little snack she 
brung with her.

She looked into the rockpool, and saw a little turtle. She thought turtles shouldn’t be in 
rockpools, so she decided to go over to it.

“Hello, I am Sage. You shouldn’t be here,” she softly spoke to the turtle.

Gently, she picked it up and took it to the sea, but the turtle just cuddled into her and 
refused to go in. Sage was confused, but she didn’t think much of it and took the turtle back 
to the rock pool.

After about an hour of staying at the beach, Sage started to head home, waving bye to the 
little turtle. Nobody even noticed she had left.

Every day, Sage went to visit this turtle. And then one day, the turtle seemed to be stuck in a 
plastic container. How they had got in there, she wouldn’t know, but she knew she needed 
to help.

She started searching everywhere for anything to help. In the bins, the piles of rubbish, 
everywhere that could possibly have anything to help. Then, something sort of shiny caught 
her eye, she went over to it, and took it out of the bin bag. It was some old scissors!

Cutting the turtle free, she smiled, knowing she’d done something good for once. Once 
freed, the turtle cuddled into her and she left the beach with the biggest grin ever.

The next day, she visited the turtle again, and it was no where to be found. Then, she saw a 
mummy turtle, with three little turtles, wandering back into the ocean. One of the turtles 
looked at her, then followed its mum home

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