The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition is a well established and successful annual competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is a four-stage competition which is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills.
This year the Youth Speaks competition, organised by the Rotary Club of Reigate, highlighted the high level of talent that our young people possess. The two schools taking part were the Warwick School in Redhill and The Royal Alexandra and Albert School at Gatton. Both schools entered an Intermediate Team (11-15 year olds) and a Senior Team (16-18 year olds). Although we were lacking in participating numbers we certainly had an abundance of excellent quality. The topic chosen by the Warwick Intermediate Team was “Strawberries in December”. The speaker encouraged us all to accept that although most foods were now available throughout the year, due to importation, we should try to enjoy them when they are naturally in season in this country at their best. The Intermediate Team from the Royal Alexandra and Albert School chose to talk on “Body Image” and the artificial pressures that young people have to live with regarding presenting and maintaining a body image that is dictated by the media depicting what is normal and acceptable in our young society.
The Senior Team from Warwick School spoke on “A Sledgehammer to crack a nut”. This was aimed at the heavy-handedness of local and national government officials when addressing minor infringements of legislation by members of the public who have, on occasions, made an honest mistake or not fully understood what was required of them. The final topic that was delivered by the Royal Alexandra and Albert School Senior Team was based on “Globalisation”. The speaker delivered the topic explaining that in his view it was the biggest killer of individual cultures around the world.
Every member gave an excellent presentation according to their task within their team. All displayed enthusiasm and confidence culminating in a high quality of presentations throughout the competition. At this level there are no losers but being a competition there has to be recognition of those teams that delivered to the highest levels. The winner of the Intermediate competition was the Warwick School and the Royal Alexandra and Albert school won the Senior competition.
Our congratulations go to all the teams for an excellent contest and our thanks go not only to the students who put in so much effort but also to the members of staff who worked so hard behind the scenes supporting them.