Pupil third in speech final

Third Place…St Peters College pupil, Eli Puna, placed third at the annual Southland Interschool Speech Competition Grand Final on September 19th with a speech about speech-making. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

A St Peter’s College pupil has had a successful season competing at the annual Southland interschool speech competition.
Eli Puna (12), who has competed in the annual competition over the past four years, placed third out of nine pupils in the grand final on
September 19.
It was his final competition.
Eli’s father is Gore Main School principal Glenn Puna.
Mr Puna said this year’s speeches were of ‘‘high quality’’.
‘‘It was a reflection of the hours of hard work students have put into their speeches and presentation,’’ he said.
The competition is divided into three zones and is open to pupils in years 5-6 and 7-8.
Round one takes place at school, top pupils moving on to compete at the the zone competition.
Then three pupils are chosen from each zone at each level to compete in the grand final.
Eli was the only pupil from his zone to place at the final.
Eli’s chosen topic, ‘‘speeches’’, explored the process of speech-making, from how pupils feel when they are told to write a speech to the sense of achievement felt after presenting the final product on stage.
He said it took two weeks to write, from the initial thought through to editing.
While third was not quite the placing he wanted, he was still pleased, Eli said.
‘‘I’m very happy with the results.’’
He enjoyed the experience and was proud of his achievements.
‘‘I enjoy the process of writing a speech and the competitive nature of the competition.’’

He hoped to continue building his public speaking skills and in the future one day become a lawyer, he said.
Mr Puna said he encouraged all pupils to give the annual a competition a go.
‘‘I’ve watched Eli gain confidence each year of the competition,’’ Mr Puna said.