A student at Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy has won a prestigious debating competition. A sixth form student aged 17, entered the event after being nominated by the school for the 31st Annual Caterham Public Speaking Competition, held at Princethorpe College in Rugby on Sunday 10th April 2016. He formulated arguments on why “Practice Makes Perfect”. He had to speak for four minutes, whilst being assessed on appearance, clarity, timing and persuasiveness. He fought off competition from eight other schools on the day to come first. This was the first time Our Lady and St Chad had entered the competition.
The student said – “The event was an amazing experience, not just winning first place but the very audience and the people I was competing against. When I first arrived at Princethorpe College, the size of the school made me feel very intimidated and very anxious. As I stepped into the building it was as though they were all waiting for me because everyone within that hall were so welcoming. I was humbled when I saw the judges and the host of the event greeted me because I honestly didn’t think they would be so welcoming to someone they just met.”
“Walking into the hall and analysing my stage was very exciting because they told me that they I could move around and I use the stage in the way that I wanted. Being the seventh speaker wasn’t very nerve-wracking but stepping onto the stage whilst I was being introduced was the scary part because over hundred eyes were staring at me; I had spoken publicly at church (Living Waters Church) many times but this time it felt different. As soon as the timer went all I had to rely on was God as well as the prayers I made and once I started my speech everything flowed and it was the best speech I have ever delivered.”
The student will now move on to represent the region in a national debating competition in September.