Monday, 15 August 2022

Champions reprise winning speeches

A CELEBRATION dinner was held in Henley for the champions in this year’s Youth Speaks competition

A CELEBRATION dinner was held in Henley for the champions in this year’s Youth Speaks competition.

Ted Aplin, William Peters and Miles Edwards, all 12, were the guests of Henley Rotary Club at the two-course dinner at the Red Lion Hotel, where they reprised their winning performance.

The boys, who are pupils at Blue Coat School in Sonning, won the national public speaking competition organised by Rotary in Preston.

The trio, who competed in the intermediate category, had already won the regional final in Marlow and the local heat at the Kenton Theatre in Henley.

William, who is from Henley, said: “It was the first time our school had got through to the third round. I was glad to be representing the school and Henley.”

Miles, from Lower Shiplake, said: “This was the first major event I’ve done for the school and to win it was amazing. It’s nice to look back and see how far we’ve come.

“I think we can carry on as a team next year and win some more competitions. I think we work very well as a team.” Ted, from Henley, said: “I thought I was good at public speaking but I never thought I could compete in something this big and get to the national final and win.”

Each team in the final had three members — a main speaker, a chairman and one who gave the vote of thanks.

They had 10 minutes in which to give a presentation on a subject of their choice and the Blue Coat boys spoke on the subject of “selfies”.

Ted was named best chairman in the contest and William best speaker.

Lisa Bennett, Blue Coat’s head of public speaking, said: “They had been united right from the start to do the best they could and winning the competition was the icing on the cake.

“Public speaking is very strong at Blue Coat and very w ell supported – we have two clubs running and we take part in quite a few competitions.”

Rotary Club president John Grout said: “We honoured them because they were national champions and we wanted to recognise their achievement. It was a wonderful evening.”

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