Pupils from Chipping Sodbury and Brimsham Green schools compete in Rotary’s Youth Speaks contest

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The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury (1) recently helped pupils at two local schools in Yate and Chipping Sodbury overcome their nerves and take part in a public speaking competition. Members of the Club worked with a group of Year 8 students from Brimsham Green and Chipping Sodbury School and helped them to develop their public speaking skills in preparation for the final held on the 4 December 2013.

The local final was a great experience for all who took part. All three teams performed extremely well and were really brave to speak in front of the Headteachers of both schools, Rotary members, the year heads, parents, teachers and other students!

The judges reported that the competition was extremely close. The teams each picked their own subjects and collated material to discuss, with help from mentors provided by Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club.

The winning team with a very well thought-out and powerfully expressed presentation on bullying was Stephanie Pick, Bethenie Carriaga from Brimsham Green and Emma Doody from Chipping Sodbury School. The team now progress through to the District Final, to be held on 8th February in Maisemore, nr Gloucester.

In second place were Ella Bryant and Lauren Mayhead, both 12 and from Brimsham Green School, and Max Hedges, 13 and from Chipping Sodbury School, for their talk on cyber-bullying. Neave Jones and Jess Pugh, both 12 and from Brimsham Green School, and Harry Braithwaite, 12 from Chipping Sodbury School, came third for their discussion of the benefits of learning a second language.

John Berridge, a member of the club’s youth services committee, said: “The youngsters taking part were a credit to themselves and surpassed my expectations.The reason we as a club got involved was because these are a fairly critical range of skills – the ability to communicate and get yourself across with a bit of conviction and clarity to be persuasive.

The winning team accompanied by parents and Rotarian John Berridge were interviewed by Richard Lewis on his Sunday Show on BBC Radio Bristol on 8 December and handled themselves very welll.

Rotary is the largest private sector contributor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Other partners include the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, which battles against a number of difficulties including geographic isolation, armed conflict, cultural barriers, worker fatigue and poverty.

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