Six teams spanning four counties competed in the final of the East Region Sixth Form Public Speaking Competition, kindly hosted by The Perse School, Cambridge, on 29 November 2018.
Speakers were praised for their empassioned speeches on a range of political and sociological topics by the Chair of the adjudicators, Matthew Christmas, who represented ESU headquarters. His fellow judges, Jane Weller, from the University of Essex and Dr Simon Ravenscroft, from Magdalene College, Cambridge, complimented the participating chairs and questioners respectively.
The Perse were announced as the winners with Colchester Royal Grammar School as runners-up. The former comprised chair Rizwaan Baig, speaker Kirill Nezhentsev, who addressed the topic of nuclear weapons, and questioner Wendy Hau, each of whom received a certificate and a prize from ESU East Region President, His Grace, Petrus, the Earl of Hoole Count de la Marche. Amy Stott, the speaker from Mark Rutherford School, Bedford, was awarded a certificate as an outstanding performer.
Organiser and Colchester & North Essex Branch Chairman, Brian Cooke, thanked all involved, including the host school for its generous hospitality, arranged by teacher, Chris Green.
The other teams contesting the final represented Aldenham School, Hertfordshire, Colchester Sixth Form College and St Thomas More High School for Boys, Westcliff-on-Sea. They were.among those narrowed down from the eleven who entered the competition, which reflected an increase in interest across the catchment area from the previous year. The event was administered by the Colchester branch with financial support for the competition from the region. The total cost was under £200 and 33 young people took part at least once, representing an investment of less than £6 per participant with benefits of far greater value in terms of critical thinking, confidence building and personal empowerment.