Winning team St. Wilreds Accademy PS With Mrs. Doreen Hoddinott and the Mayor Cllr. Bill Clarke, from left to right Speaker Annika, Chair Alex,V o T Kieran and Reserve Grace.

Winning team St. Wilreds Accademy PS With Mrs. Doreen Hoddinott and the Mayor Cllr. Bill Clarke, from left to right Speaker Annika, Chair Alex,V o T Kieran and Reserve Grace.

There comes a point in most of our lives when we are called upon to speak before an audience, be it, for example, during a job interview, or when making a speech at a wedding or other function. To be able to speak with confidence on such occasions is a very useful life skill. In recognising this fact, and in order to provide a forum to help develop and challenge young people in the area, Wigan Rotary Club, in 2008, instigated an annual public speaking competition known as ‘Junior Speaks.’

Primary schools, within the local authority, are invited to participate in the competition by entering a team, or teams, to speak on a subject of their choice, (politics, race and religion excluded.)

Each team consists of three Year 6 pupils who take on the respective roles of Chairperson, Speaker and Proposer of the Vote of Thanks, with a fourth member acting as reserve. The winning team is presented with the ‘Hoddinott Shield’, in memory of former Rotarian, Peter, and is held by the school for one year.
This year’s competition celebrated the 10th anniversary of ‘Junior Speaks’ and proved once again to be a great success, and its popularity, with teachers and children alike, is demonstrated by the fact that the number of participants has grown from year to year, the first year there were 6 schools, this year there were 18.

So bigger and better than ever before – the 2017 10th anniversary COMPETITION started on Friday 6th , for the first heats, Monday 9th saw the second day of heats producing 8 teams going through to the final on Friday 13th October where an excited audience was joined by the His Worship the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, who ably assisted in the proceedings, with the Mayoress cutting a celebratory cake and joining in handing out special cup cakes for all the children.
Each team rose to the challenge wonderfully. Their topics were broad based and challenging. In fact, it is true to say that these young people never cease to amaze and delight us with the quality of their presentations. The judges, as a result, had a very difficult job and there was little to separate some of the teams.

However, there could be only one winner and the Hoddinott Shield for 2017 went to Standish St Wilfred’s Academy PS . The Hoddinott Shield was presented by Mrs. Doreen Hoddinott, to a very excited team, who also received an invitation to go to The Owls on the 2nd November in order to repeat their winning performance for the members of Wigan Rotary Club at their lunchtime meeting. Many congratulations to them, under very stiff competition, they were worthy winners. Their Team were called ‘The Green Ribbons’ and their topic was “Mental Health Matters”.
Second place was awarded to the pupils from Our Lady’s Aspull PSs 2nd team whose name was Forget-me-nots, speaking on “Dementia”, who were hot on the heels of the winners, and third spot went to Our Lady’s 1st team named ‘Peace Makers’, speaking on “Rising Tension Across the World”.

The other participating PS teams were namely Marsh Green, Winstanley. Lamberhead Green. Aspull Church School, and Worsley Mesnes. Each school was presented with a certificate, and each child with an Usborne dictionary by Wigan Rotary President, Gwyneth Millard and the Mayor of Wigan, Cllr. Bob Clarke to mark their achievement. It was a wonderful morning and a delight to witness such amazing, confident presentations from all the young people who participated for their schools. The Judges commented on the very high standard once again this year.


© Rotary News

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