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St John's in ESU National Public Speaking Competition

On Tuesday, our team of top Year 11 public speakers took part in the regional round of the ESU National Public Speaking competition, which was being hosted by St John’s. They competed against seven teams from all over RCT and performed to an exceptionally high standard. David Anthony took on the role of Chairperson, and was commended by the judges for his welcoming manner, clear delivery and ability to summarise an argument effectively. Hannah Rees was the team’s main speaker. She spoke on the topic: “Fairness is an unachievable goal”, arguing passionately that she would fight to her last breath to make the world a fairer place but that, regrettably, she was realistic enough to realise that a completely fair society could never be achieved. The judges commended her for her confident and fluent delivery almost without notes and her composed and detailed answers to the Questioner’s and audience questions. Matthew Birch was the third member of the team. His role as Questioner involved him asking probing questions to the speaker from another school, and he played this role with great precision, posing a series of challenging and thought-provoking questions, which the Judges described as ‘intelligent and pertinent’.

Following a close-fought competition, the team emerged as worthy winners and will now progress to the Welsh National Finals, where the top 8 teams in Wales will compete for the title of ‘Welsh Champions’! This is the fourth time that a team from St John’s has made it through to the national finals, but we have never won, so let’s hope this might be our year! The Final will take place in March at Ty Hywel – the old Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff Bay – and the Welsh champions will then represent Wales at the UK Finals at Churchill College, Cambridge in April. Many congratulations to David, Hannah and Matthew, and all the best to them for the Final!