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When we were all young and at school, we had to make speeches now and again, and no-one took it very seriously.
We chose subjects like “Me and my Dog”, or “What I did in the holidays”, or “What I’m going to do when I grow up”. We didn’t practise much, we didn’t know anything about timing or voice projection, and most of us were pretty nervous.
Things have changed. Nowadays kids can give persuasive addresses around difficult modern themes such as Nuclear-Free New Zealand, Stereotyping, Self-esteem, and Feminism. What’s more, they can do it with great panache and often without using notes. If there are rowdy boys shouting just outside the windows, well, that doesn’t bother them either.
So, another great morning spent at Aotea College listening to the best young speakers from some of our local primary schools. Seventeen children entered the contest, in two groups: 10 and 11 year olds, and 12 and 13 year olds. Each had won the right to compete by winning their own school’s contest.
Sarah Jenner, a teacher at Discovery School, again coordinated the contest for the nine schools, and David Knight ran things at the Rotary end. The judges were Wendy Betteridge. Velma Knight and Carol Dring.
There were certificates for all the contestants, plaques for the winners, and cups for the winners’ schools.
This was the fifteenth year of the speech contest and it shows no signs of losing momentum.
The prizewinners were:
Years 5 and 6
1. Stella Gould from Pukerua Bay School (second from left)
2. Brianna Gibson from Pauatahanui School (third from right)
3. Zara Weinstein from Plimmerton School (left)
Years 7 and 8
1. Cassidy Abbot from Discovery School (right) 
2. Amber Roberts from Pauatahanui School (second from right)
3. Harry Hall from Pukerua Bay School (third from left)

You can find more of the photos taken by Chris Garrett here.


Young speakers enthrall

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