James Hargest pupil takes top honours in speech contest

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A diverse range of subjects were covered at the Lions 2021 District Young Speechmaker competition final last weekend.
Lions 202F area youth activities chairwoman Dot Walker said the annual district speechmaker competition, which was held in Gore, attracted 12 contestants from asfar away as Queenstown and Wanaka.
Competitors aged from 17 to 21 gave a prepared speech on a topic of their choice, Mrs Walker said.
‘‘This last speech, delivered by Hannah Kasardi of James Hargest College [Invercargill], was selected as the winning one, combined with Hannah’s delivery of the impromptuspeech later in the day,’’ Mrs Walker said.
‘‘Hannah used her personal experience of being born in a war-torn country and escaping to elsewhere before coming to New Zealand as the foundation of a very moving speech,’’ she said.
Second place went to Ella Maluschnig, of Mount Aspiring College (Wanaka), who spoke on ‘‘The Lorax versus Deforestation’’ as her topic, while third was Blair Duthie, of Otago Boys’ High School (Dunedin), who spoke on ‘‘Myself and Having a Goal’’.
Judges commented on the high quality of the speeches, both in content and presentation. They also offered a few tips for future speeches, she said.
After lunch the impromptu section was held.
The judges allocated the topic ‘‘Why lead when you can follow?’’ This presented pupils with the opportunity to put their slant on the idea and show their quick thinking, as they were presented with the topic one by one and given one minute to prepare, then had to speak with no notes.
‘‘An appreciative audience spent a very pleasant and enjoyable day, being grateful that it was not them on the platform,’’ Mrs Walker said.
Hannah and Ella will travel to Wellington in August to compete in the national finals. The winner will be awarded atrip to Canada and the United States for the international finals combined with a three-week holiday.
The second place-getter will be awarded a trip to Australia for three weeks and third will receive a place in the Lions International Camp held in December-January in Rotorua.