Warwick teenagers grab the opportunity to have their say on issues

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Teenagers in Warwick district were given a grand stage to have their say to the town.

St Nicholas church in Warwick hosted the annual Youth Speaks competition, organised by the Rotary Clubs of Warwick and Warwick Avon to give local young people a chance to demonstrate their public speaking skills.

This year 27 young people competed in teams from Myton (two), Warwick (two), Kings High (one), Aylesford (one) Kingsley (two) and Kenilworth (one) schools. Teams competed in two classes - intermediates (11 -13) and seniors (14 -17), with prizes going to the winning team, and an opportunity to compete in the West Midlands competition, In the past, some Warwick teams have even reached the national finals.

Each team of three members had 12 minutes to present the case for a topic of their choosing which ranged from the relevance of the Classics to the existence of aliens.

The intermediate class was won by a team from Aylesford School who discussed “Should we have the death penalty?”.

The senior class was won by a team from Myton School which discussed “Is feminism still relevant today?”

The annual event gives young people a chance to voice their opinions on topics they feel strongly about and demands significant research, knowledge and the confidence to present arguments clearly and concisely.

Organiser Alan Bailey said: “It takes self confidence to put yourself on a platform at 13 and present a case to an audience of total strangers, and all those who performed can be proud of the progress they made and the way they had their listeners engrossed. Congratulations are due to those young people who participated, and their teachers who cajoled and supported them through the preparation process”.

The contestants were judged by an experienced panel and the event was attended by the presidents of the supporting Rotary clubs of Warwick, and Warwick Avon, as well as Warwick Mayor Bob Dhillon.