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Rotary Club of Frome Selwood ‘Youth Speaks’ competition

Rotary’s annual Intermediate ‘Youth Speaks’ competition held its Northern Area Semi-Final at Standerwick Centre in Frome on Thursday 11th February.

The competition was held under the auspices of the Rotary Club of Frome Selwood with Rotarian Mike Kelham as MC.

The schools that had reached this far in the competition were teams from Frome Community College ‘A’ and ‘B’, St Mary’s in Calne, Kingsdown in Warminster, and Stonar in Melksham.

Each team consisted of three students between the ages of 12 and 15, the Chairman, the Speaker and the third to give the Vote of Thanks.  Their presentations were strictly timed.

The students had chosen an interesting variety of subjects for their speeches: ‘Is sugar a drug?’, ‘Feminism’, ‘Dr ….Who?’, ‘Do screens make you smarter?’ and ‘Learning’.  They also had to answer surprise questions from the audience on their subjects.

The standard of all the presentations was once again extremely high, and the difference between the winners and the runners up was very small indeed, as attested by the adjudicators.

The runner-up was St. Mary’s team, while Ysobel Andrews, Reli Harris-Johnstone and Genevieve Baller made up the winning team from Stonar School. The cup for the best speaker went to Reli Harris-Johnstone.

Philip Cary, Acting President of The Rotary Club of Frome Selwood presented the certificates, the medals and the cup, and thanked everyone involved.

The Stonar team will now proceed to the District Final, to be held at The Kings of Wessex Academy, Station Road in Cheddar (BS27 3AQ) on Saturday 27th February.  Please note that this has a revised time of 12.30 for a prompt 1.00pm start.

Youth Speaks’ is one of the many competitions, awards, exchanges and scholarships for young people that Rotary organises and funds. For those wanting to know more about the Rotary Club of Frome Selwood which hosted this event, its website is