|14 May 2019
When it comes to public speaking, Brentwood School’s articulate students are in a class of their own, becoming national Youth Speaks champions for the second time.
The School’s Senior Public Speaking Team beat teams from all over the United Kingdom to win the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) Youth Speaks 2019 competition. The win comes six years after the School’s Senior team last claimed the coveted crown.
The 2019 winning team was made up of Sixth Formers; Alice Grundy as Main Speaker, Hassan Bajwa in the role of Chairperson, and Joel Runevic delivering the Vote of Thanks. The trio delivered an impassioned, eloquent, and often humorous presentation on the progress of modern feminism and the gender equality movement, entitled ‘The Last Glass Ceiling’.
A massive cheer echoed around the packed Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham on Sunday afternoon (12th May) as the result was announced. English teacher, Miss Cecily Tiernan, explained: “The competition from the other teams was fierce and there were many eloquent speakers presenting, but the Brentwood team’s confidence, teamwork and calm under pressure prevailed. We congratulate Alice, Hassan and Joel for their impeccable focus and hard work throughout the year - it was truly a well-deserved victory!”
The three-man judging panel also awarded 17-year-old Hassan the prize for Best Chairperson for his warm and charming introduction to the team.
The Brentwood team progressed through to the Finals after competing at school and local level and were fresh from an emphatic win in the regional round held at New City College in Redbridge.
In the Nottingham finale, the victorious team, sponsored by Brentwood à Becket Rotary Club, competed against six other schools also selected through a series of highly competitive heats from their districts around the UK.
The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition is a well-established and successful competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. It is a four-stage competition, which is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills.