‘Thoughtful’ appraisal wins a semi-final prize
A PRESENTATION about the fashion industry helped win Shoreham College student Billie Hall a prize in the southern senior semi-final of Rotary Youth Speaks.
Although the team, representing Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club, failed to secure a place in the regional final, they were delighted to see Billie receive a certificate for best vote of thanks.
A group of 10 Rotarians joined club president Peter Matthew to support their team in the semi-final at Burgess Hill School for Girls on Monday, February 11.
Seven schools took part and each team of three was given 15 minutes to present their entry, on a subject of their choice.
Shoreham College had a comparatively young team, comprising Katie Thomas and Billie Hall from year 11, plus Miles Atherton from year 10,
Their entry, Through the Looking Glass, addressed the issues young people face when they try to conform to media stereotypes of the “perfect body”.
Rotarian Les Baker said: “Our speaker, Katie Thomas, proposed the argument with feeling and opened up many controversial and thought-provoking ideas on the subject.”
When she was posed a searching question from the audience, Katie answered with confidence and accuracy, Les added.
Billie then gave a “thoughtful” appraisal during her vote of thanks.
Adjudicators said the standard of entries was good and the teams had been close.
St Philip Howard Catholic School in Barnham was voted the overall winner, with its entry The English Language, and runner-up was Ardingly College, with A Dying Art.
Shoreham College, which had made its presentation first in the semi-final, was placed third.
Adjudicators hailed Katie’s speech as “very powerful, emotional, dramatic and intelligent”.
Deputy Chief Constable Giles York gave a short address and said all 21 contestants should be very proud of themselves for their well thought out and researched presentations.
He presented a signed copy of a Peter James book to each contestant, as well as certificates for the winners of each category.
The Shoreham College team had won their place in the local heat, held in Lancing College in November, where they beat Lancing College, The Towers and Shoreham Academy.
Headmaster Jim Stearns said: ‘The college has a history of success locally in public speaking, so it was great to have the opportunity to test ourselves against older, more experienced teams.
“We are very proud of their success and pleased that their efforts have been rewarded in this way.’
Youth Speaks is a national competition run by Rotary International to encourage speaking and presentation skills in young people, aged 11 to 18.
It is going from strength to strength, producing some superb quality speakers.
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