Supporting young talent

Finalists James Cumberlidge, Alyssa Dean and Tomas Hughes, with Rotarians Brian Huw Jones and Alan Booth

One of the last Rotary events held before the lockdown celebrated the oracy talent of young students in local primary schools. The Prestatyn Rotary Public Speaking Competition took place at Ysgol y Llys and seven junior schools took part:- Clawdd Offa, Hiraddug, Bodnant, Y Llys, Y Castell, Gronant and Penmorfa.

Rotarian Alan Booth and his team of Rotarians had a difficult task of judging the preliminary rounds in each school, and the winning two pupils from each school took part in the final, on stage before an audience of Rotarians, school staff and very proud relatives.

The subject of the various talks was as varied as ever, including musical composition, women's football, Australian bush fires, and tap dancing. Before announcing the top three Rotary President Brian Huw Jones said “To each and every one of the finalists tonight - you are all winners. It takes a lot to be able to stand up here and speak for two minutes”.

The judges were unanimous in selecting James Cumberlidge of Ysgol Gronant in third place, with his talk on wind turbines. Second was Tomas Hughes respresenting Ysgol Hiraddug (Astronomy), and in first place was Alyssa Dean who gave a very enthusiastic talk on pageants.

Prestatyn Rotary Club has hosted the Public Speaking Competition for Years 5 and 6, Primary School, for many years. It is in fact one of the highlights of the Rotary year.  The rules are simple. The pupil is to talk for no more than three minutes on a topic of their own choice and can use Power Point presentations or props to support their talk but not to distract from it. The local primary schools hold the first round and are asked to choose the top 12 – 15 to go through to the second round. A team of Rotarians then visit the schools and choose 2 from each school to go through to the grand final. The final was held for many years in the Prestatyn High School hall. For the last three years it has been held at Bodnant and Llys school halls. We hope to visit the other primary schools over the next few years. Parents, teachers along with Rotarians and their wives are invited to attend the final. Following the competition an excellent buffet is laid on by the County Catering team. A panel of Rotarians act as judges and have the unenviable task of choosing the top three. The standards are extremely high every year with seven of the nine local primary schools participating. Our hope is that all schools will participate soon. The topics are varied, interesting, some very personal, and educational.  This is an annual event giving the children an opportunity to gain valuable experience in public speaking, researching a topic and use of modern technology. Our aim is to help our young people to develop language skills and grow in confidence. We hope to continue with the public speaking competition for years to come as we feel it is a valuable commodity to enhance and develop the education of these young people.

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