A FRIENDLY war of words took centre stage in Warwick when young people gathered to compete in The 11th Heart of England Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks Finals Day.
Students from 10 schools across the district took up the debating challenge for the return of the popular competition after three years away due to the pandemic.
A team from Alcester Grammar School – comprising Gracie Day, Sophie Woodhead and Milissa Mireagheri – won the Youth Speaks title in the Senior Competition.
And King Edward VI School – represented by Arnav Maulay, Youssef Mourkus and Rufus Round – finished runners-up in the Intermediate Competition.
The debates, which took place at The Methodist Church in Warwick, covered a wide variety of topics from ‘Is Society Actually Absurd’ to ‘Banning Rugby In Schools’.
Rotarian and event organiser David Valentine said: “The standard of the delivery of the debates from all the schools was first class. The audience loved every minute of the competition – particularly where the questioner put scenarios to them which required the team to be very quick thinking as they were also against the clock where points could soon be deducted.”
Welcoming the return of the competition, which was watched by 300 people, he added: “It became apparent to District Rotary that our children had lost out badly, not only as far as their general education was concerned but fun time as well.
“Children are naturally competitive and as soon as the teaching staff came to hear that the competition was going to go ahead, they supported the local Rotary Clubs’ efforts to get the Youth Speaks competition up and running again.
“Great credit to the children, teaching staff and club members for bringing this to fruition.”
Cups, medals, book tokens and certificates were presented by the District Governor David Clayfield and next year’s incoming District Governor John Parkinson.