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Winning words speak volumes on debating day

Heart of England Rotary, Youth Speaks Competition

A friendly war of words took centre stage in Warwickshire when young people gathered to compete in The 11th Heart of England Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks Finals Day.

Thirty students from ten schools across the district took up the debating challenge for the return of the popular competition after three years due to lockdown.

The Youth Speaks champions in the Senior Competition were Alcester Grammar School, made up of Gracie Day, Sophie Woodhead and Milissa Mireagheri and, runner up, The Heart of England School, Balsall Common, made up of Caitlin Murry, Oliver Bennett and Farah Mead.

Intermediate Competition winners Solihull School represented by Fatima Hammad, Isabella Skinner, and Jenna Ladwa.

Champions in the Intermediate Competition were Solihull School, represented by Fatima Hammad, Isabella Skinner and Jenna Ladwa. Runners up were King Edward VI School, Stratford, represented by Arnav Maulay, Youssef Mourkus and Rufus Round.

The debates, which took place at The Methodist Church in Warwick on March 19th, covered a wide variety of topics from Is Society Actually Absurd to Banning Rugby In Schools.

Rotarian and event organiser David Valentine, said: “The standard of the delivery of the debates from all the schools was first class. The audience loved every minute of the competition particurly where the Questioner put scenarios to them which reqiured  the team to be very quick thinking as they were also against the clock where points could soon be deducted.”

Heart of England Rotary, Youth Speaks Competition
Runners up of the Seniors Competition Caitlin Murry, Oliver Bennett, and Farah Mead of Heart of England School Balsall Common.

Welcoming the return of the competition, which was watched by 300 people, he added: “It became apparent to District Rotary that our children had lost out badly, not only as far as their general education was concerned but fun time as well.

“Children are naturally competitive and as soon as the teaching staff came to hear that the competition was going to go ahead, they supported the local Rotary Clubs’ efforts to get the Youth Speaks competition up and running again.

“Great credit to the children, teaching staff and club members for bringing this to fruition.”

Cups, medals, book tokens and Certificates were presented by the current District Governor of District 1060, David Clayfield and next year’s incoming, District Governor John Parkinson.

Heart of England Rotary, Youth Speaks Competition
The runners up in the Intermediate competition Arnav Mulay, Youssef Mourkus and Rufus Round.

Rotary is a worldwide association of local clubs, for men and women in business or the professions who: provide service to the community at local, national and international level; encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and work for goodwill and peace in the world.

To learn more about the work of The Heart of England Rotary Clubs or to enquire about joining, visit: Rotary District 1060 (