Teams progressing from the public speaking final of Colchester & North Essex branch acquitted themselves well in an East Region final of remarkably high standard at Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 7 March 2020.
The Eastwood Academy, Southend-on-sea, were placed runners-up in the event, deservedly recognizing team members’ impressive performances. Caitlin Vernon’s pleasant manner and calm authority won her the award as best chair, Jochebel Nyamayaro was a probing questioner, and Uzoamaka Achebe, as speaker, delivered a convincing case, refuting the notion of staying silent when angered by injustice.
In addition, the corresponding partnership for King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, of Sebin Tomy, Krish Singh and Prajwal Pandey, also fulfilled their roles with aplomb.
Regional winners were the team from Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, namely, Tilly Weston, prizewinning questioner Talia Rubin, and Jamila Salim.
Kate Brierly of Wymondham High Academy was nominated as best speaker with adjudicators, Simon Ravenscroft, Rachel Green and Alex Chan, giving a special award to Gregory Middleton, the speaker from St Bede’s Inter-Church School, Cambridge.
The Regional final attracted an audience of 110, a considerable increase on previous years. It was organized by the branch’s indefatigable public speaking organizer and ESU Governor, James Scruby, who was also responsible for the Colchester & North Essex heats and final, which also incorporate the Southend area and south Essex.