Bexhill’s battle royale of public speaking

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Yet again the Rotary Clubs of Battle and Bexhill organised another scintillating local heat of the annual Rotary Youth Speaks, a public speaking contest between senior schools from Battle, Bexhill and Robertsbridge.

This year the heat was hosted by Bexhill High on February 6.

As in previous years, there were two competitions, one at intermediate level for ages between 11 and 13 and another at Senior level for 14 to 17 year olds.

Each team were free to choose their own subject with presentations lasting for 15 minutes with a team of three – chairperson, speaker and proposer of a vote of thanks.

The Intermediates got the evening off to a rousing start with a wide variety of topics – ‘Women’s Rights’ from Bexhill High, St. Richards Catholic College gave ‘Ballet – What’s the Pointe’, they were followed by Claverham Community College (the eventual winners) with a history of the coffee bean with their ‘The Power of The Bean’, next were Vinehall with their topic ‘The Future of British Weather’ and finally ‘HS2 – Off The Rails’ from Battle Abbey.

After the interval, it was the turn of the seniors who also gave a diverse range of topics – ‘Are Celebrities Heroes?’ (Bexhill High), ‘The Art of Camping’ (St. Richard’s Catholic College), ‘Morality, Empathy and Group Mentality’ (Claverham Community College) and ‘’Freedom’ from Battle Abbey who claimed that freedom is a right we are all entitled to, they were adjudged winners in the seniors for their outstanding performance.

The final presentation was given in impeccable English and with a great touch of humour by a guest team from De Lage Waard School all the way from Holland with their ‘Early Birds & Night Owls’ in which they claimed those who rise early each day are more organised compared to those people who go to bed very late who are somewhat disorganised.

Both Rotary Presidents, Mike Bett from Battle and John Cooper from Bexhill, agreed that the competition between all the teams was a close run thing with very high standards from all the teams. “Everybody who competed can hold their head up high, even if they didn’t win, because it takes a lot of guts at such a young age to address a large audience like they did tonight,” commented Bexhill’s John Cooper. He added, “All the youngsters are a credit to their generation.”

The two winning teams from Claverham Community College and Battle Abbey School will now go forward to the District Final on Saturday 1st March in Maidstone and, hopefully, on via the Regional Final and eventually to the National Final on May 10.

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