The East Region Final of the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition took place on Saturday, 12 March with teams competing at the prestigious venue of Magdalene College, Cambridge. After a lunch in the hallowed college hall, ESU trustee and event organiser James Scruby got the contest underway with the team from Haberdashers’ Girls’ School, Elstree, hosting the speaker from Southend High School for Boys. This was followed by pairings from St Benedict’s Catholic School, Bury St Edmunds, Thomas Gainsborough School, Sudbury, The Perse School, Cambridge, The Sandon School, Chelmsford, and Brentwood School.
The highly experienced adjudicating panel comprised former ESU board member and educator, Ellen Punter, alongside prizewinning orators Alexandra Nikolin and James Thompson, both stalwarts of the ESU Young People’s Forum. After careful consideration, judges named the team from Brentwood School the winners: congratulations go to chair Charlotte, speaker Jonathan and questioner Priya as they prepare for the Grand Final at Churchill College, Cambridge on Sunday, 8 May. In addition, the nomination for best chair went to Olivia from The Perse School, best speaker to Ruth from The Sandon School, and Catherine from St Benedict’s Catholic School named best questioner.