Youth Speaks Competition – 30 Jan 12

We held the Wessex Rotary Group 7 final in the Portsmouth Guildhall Debating Chamber by kind permission of the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Cheryl Buggy, who also presented the certificates to the winning teams.

The competition has been running for many years and is organised by a variety of Rotary Clubs across the UK. The winners of each Rotary District go through to the Regional Finals and eventually to the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland’s (RIBI) Grand Final which takes place on 28 April 2012 at the Glyndwr University, Wrexham, North Wales. This year’s theme was ‘The Olympic Spirit’.

All schools are invited to take part in the competition, which has two age groups for competitors, 11-13 and 14-17. Each team comprises a Chairperson, a Speaker and someone to give the Vote of Thanks. The Speaker gives their talk and questions are invited. The Judges mark the contestants on content, delivery and so on and eventually find a winner, no easy task when all teams have performed to such a high standard!

There were 5 schools taking part in the competition:

  • Intermediate Level (1-13)
    • Brune Park Community College
    • Westhill Park School
  • Senior Level
    • Portsmouth High School
    • Bay House School and 6th Form
    • Wykeham House School

The  intermediate level was won by Westhill Park School. The title of their talk was “Onward and Upward”. The Chairperson was Christopher Hurren, the Speaker was Phoebe Devonshire and the Vote of  Thanks was given by Rufus Briggs.

The Senior Level was won by Portsmouth High School. Their talk was entitled “The Reputation of the Young is Being Compromised by Ongoing National Events”. Their Chairperson was Isobal Printer, the Speaker was Lucy Wickham and the Vote of Thanks was given by Ellie Jones.

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Cheryl Buggy, invited the winners into the Lord Mayor’s Chamber, where photographs were taken. A special award was given to Ryan Hesketh of Brune Park Community College for his outstanding performance on the night.

We would like to congratuate all the winners of our Group 7 round and wish them every good luck in the regional finals.

More photographs of the event can be found at The password has been sent to all the schools which took part.


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