A MOVING talk about living with diabetes earned a team from The Towers Convent School a place in the district final of Rotary Youth Speaks.
The national competition encourages speaking and presentation skills in young people, with schools battling it out in the debating competition for young people aged 11 to 18.
The team from The Towers, Harriet Williams, Georgia Saunders and Rebecca McCallum, was representing Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club in the semi-finals, held at Burgess Hill School for Girls last Wednesday.
Six teams competed for two places in the district final, to be held in Haslemere on March 8, with Downlands School in Hassocks gaining the top prize and The Towers, in Henfield Road, Upper Beeding, runners-up.
Harriet, The Towers’ team chairman, outlined the details of their presentation, Live and Let Diabetes, then introduced Georgia, their main speaker.
Rotarian Les Baker said: “Georgia gave a moving and detailed talk with much information on living with, and leading a normal life while coping with, type one diabetes.
“She talked about the problems caused dealing with the day-to-day testing and administering her insulin and said much more needed to be spent on research in to diabetes.
“Even if a cure cannot be found, improvements to treatment would help sufferers to cope.
“She carried out her whole address with no notes, as did the other two members of the team – a sure sign of careful and extensive research into their subject.”
The teams spoke in front of a large audience and a panel of three judges.
Mr Baker added: “The Towers team, in common with all the teams taking part, spoke with confidence and showed little sign of nervousness, no mean feat speaking to a large audience of adults filling the hall.”
While the results were decided, Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne talked about her role in the community, and added her congratulations to the teams for their excellent addresses.
She then presented the prizes along with Rotary district governor Michael Goodridge and Burgess Hill and District Rotary Club president Annemarie Allen.
Certificates for individual success were awarded, with Georgia voted best speaker and Rebecca selected as runner-up in the vote of thanks category.
Mrs Allen thanked the teams and said the evening had ‘showcased youth at its best’.
For more information about Rotary and how to join, visit www.rotary-ribi.org and click on Shoreham and Southwick district under the list of clubs. Rotary is a worldwide network of men and women who help change lives in communities.