Pupils speak up in contest

Manor College of Technology pupils (left to right) Ben Rutherford, Samantha Goodwin and Sarah McKie
Manor College of Technology pupils (left to right) Ben Rutherford, Samantha Goodwin and Sarah McKie

YOUNGSTERS made sure they were seen and heard during a competition to show off their speaking skills.

Articulate youngsters spoke on a variety of subjects in front of a packed audience for the annual Youth Speaks competition held at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

The competition is run by Hartlepool Rotary Club in conjunction with others across the country to help young people develop their public speaking and gain confidence in front of an audience.

Seven teams from five town secondary schools and colleges took to the stage to deliver a speech on their chosen subject.

The contest was divided into two categories; one for students aged 11 to 13 and a senior competition for teenagers aged 14 to 17.

Topic subjects ranges from the impact of mobile phones on education and society, discrimination and cyber-bullying.

Neil Midgley, Hartlepool Rotary Club member, said: “The standard really was first class, higher than ever.

“It is amazing what young people can do in front of an audience when given the challenge.”

Each team was made up of three members; a chairman, speaker and proposer of a vote of thanks.

Speakers had a maximum of six minutes to talk on any subject of their choice other than politics or religion.

They then had two minutes to answer a question put by Rotarian Tony Raine.

Manor College of Technology won the intermediate category for their topic which started Once Upon a Time...

The senior section was claimed by High Tunstall College of Science for their speech on The Degradation of the English Language.

John Leary, lead teacher of humanities at High Tunstall College of Science said: “It was a fantastic speech, interspersed with humour and was delivered in a really confident way which is a credit to the three students.

“The head and rest of the staff have had lots of congratulations which is great.”

Mr Midgley added: “Manor College used nursery rhymes as a way of relating to modern day life and their experiences.

“It was a really good presentation and their speaker Ben Rutherford spoke without really looking at his notes at all.”

All members of the winning teams were awarded with individual shields, and will hold a team shield for the year.

The winners will go on to represent the town.