Teens praised for confidence at speaking contest

Towers team Harriet Williams, Georgia Saunders and Rebecca McCallum
Towers team Harriet Williams, Georgia Saunders and Rebecca McCallum

PASSIONATE speakers battled it out in the district final of Rotary Youth Speaks.

Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club was represented by a team from The Towers Convent, in Upper Beeding.

The trio Harriet Williams, Georgia Saunders and Rebecca McCallum, gave a presentation, Live and Let Diabetes, about leading a normal life while coping with type one diabetes.

Georgia, who talked about the problems caused dealing with the day-to-day testing and administering her insulin, came second in the best speaker category but the team missed out on a place in the national final.

Five schools were competing at Woolmer Hill School, in Haslemere, last Saturday.

Les Baker, from Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club, said: “The competition, in front of an invited audience and three adjudicators, led by Dame Penelope Keith, was of a very high standard.

“Unfortunately, our team did not win but came very high in the order. Georgia, the main speaker in the Towers team, came second, although we think she should have been first, in the best speaker category with her again moving talk.

“In all, it was a wonderful competition. In her summing up, chief adjudicator Dame Penelope Keith said she thought that the whole competition was marvellous and in no way at 15 years old could she have faced this audience to speak with such confidence and ability.”

The district competition winner was Farnborough Hill School, in Surrey.

Mr Baker said the Towers had been sad not to make the national final but they would be back to compete again next year.

He added: “Our Rotary club is now looking forward to next year’s series of Youth Speaks competitions and may well look to attract teams into not only the senior age group, as this year, but also into the intermediate group of younger children.”

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.