As mentioned earlier in the Blog, Clare Aspray in Y12, now in Y13, won the regional Catenian Association Public Speaking Contest. This forwarded Clare to the national competition in Manchester. Clare explains what happened next:
I attended the Catenians National Speaking Competition on Sunday, 11th September 2022 at The Manchester Conference Centre to present my speech “I want to close the foodbanks”. I had qualified for the finals after winning the Regional Competition in March, so I’d thankfully had a few months to practise! It was a wonderful afternoon with lots of really interesting speeches on a variety of topics from people all around the country, even a girl from Torquay in Cornwall.
I won the competition overall, and took home some prize money for me and the school.
My speech discussed why I want to close food banks, because we shouldn’t need them in the first place. I talked about austerity, and how this has failed the most needy in society, as well as my mum’s volunteering with Newcastle’s West End Foodbank, and why we shouldn’t have to rely on charity to feed people. The judges (James Power, Brenda Pozzoni, and Dr Michael O’Malley) gave very positive feedback, and said that the result had been a unanimous decision.
With the school’s prize money, we are hoping to provide opportunities for girls within school to practise their public speaking. I am so grateful to Ms Palma and the Catenians Association for providing the opportunity for me to develop these skills, and for being so supportive.