ELOQUENT youngsters met at Leehurst Swan School last week to compete for places in the next round of the Rotary Club of Great Britain’s annual Youth Speaks contest.
Besides Leehurst Swan, teams had been entered by Burgate, Godolphin and Bishop Wordsworth’s schools on topics ranging from the effects of texting on English, to the use of child labour in clothing manufacture, to failure in the prison system.
Each team comprised a chairman, speaker and proposer, with marks awarded for the construction and content of the talk and its effect on the audience. The judges also looked for clear enunciation, audibility, an easy manner and humour.
In a very closely-fought contest the judges eventually decided that the senior team comprising Tom Bostock, Euan Godbold and Simon Jagoe of Bishop Wordsworth’s School - whose entry was called Why Prison? - and the intermediate team also from Bishop Wordsworth’s of Gareth Hancock, Andrew White and Conor Hocking - will go through to the next round of the competition, in Stockbridge on March 5. There are five heats in the national contest, which has attracted entries from all over the UK.
Presenting certificates to the teams, Salisbury Rotary Club President Dr Steve Marriott said the confidence shown by all the speakers had been “quite remarkable”.