Warwick teenagers speak out in annual Rotary contest

Intermediate winners Freddie Watt, Ryan Ruperellia and Pranav Raja with Warwick Avon President Norman Byrne
Intermediate winners Freddie Watt, Ryan Ruperellia and Pranav Raja with Warwick Avon President Norman Byrne

Young speakers showed off their confidence during the annual Rotary club competition to find the best teenage public orators.

Organised by the Rotary clubs of Warwick, Warwick Avon and Southam 2000 the Youth Speaks contest was held at Northgate Methodist Church in Warwick and featured 24 young people.

Senior winners Charlie Gutteridge, Samuel Lubrano and Emma Jakeman from Myton School with Warwick Deputy Mayor, Cllr Neale Murphy

Senior winners Charlie Gutteridge, Samuel Lubrano and Emma Jakeman from Myton School with Warwick Deputy Mayor, Cllr Neale Murphy

Teams came from Myton School (3), Warwick School (2), Kings High School (1), Southam College and Princethorpe College and competed in 2 classes; - intermediates (11 -13) and seniors (14 -17), with prizes going to the winning team, and an opportunity to compete in the West Midlands regional competition. In past years 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 Save the Sea to Legalisation of Cannabis.

This 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.

The contestants were judged by an experienced panel well steeped in the mystical art of public speaking. The event was hosted by the President of the Rotary Club of Warwick, David Smith; Southam 2000 President Iain Wilson; and Warwick Avon President Norman Byrne, and attended by Warwick Deputy Mayor Cllr Neale Murphy, parents and colleagues.

Head judge Jon Wassall, commented that all the teams were “winners” in that learning how to speak in public would give everyone an advantage in life. Everyone had prepared well, done their research and engaged with the audience. The results had been very close. Thanks were also due to parents and teachers who supported them through the preparation process.

The intermediate class was won by a team from Warwick School which discussed The Future of Artificial Intelligence considering whether it posed a threat or opportunity. They were presented with certificates by Warwick Avon President Norman Byrne.

The senior class was won by a team from Myton School which discussed The Real Power of Superheroes - from Beowulf to Batman larger than life fantasy figures have come to our rescue. They received their awards from Warwick Deputy Mayor Cllr Neale Murphy.

Winners and runner-up teams received book tokens from Warwick Books which supported the event, and all contestants received a Certificate of Participation for their Achievement Folders. Both winning teams will go forward to the Regional Finals held on March 9 at North Leamington School.