PUBLISHED: 11:09 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010
GIRLS had the last word in a public speaking competition last week and talked their way to the top spot. The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition took place at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin and involved pupils from Hitchin Boys School, The Priory and Pr
GIRLS had the last word in a public speaking competition last week and talked their way to the top spot.
The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition took place at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin and involved pupils from Hitchin Boys' School, The Priory and Princess Helena College.
Girls from Princess Helena swept the board and won first prize for both the 11-14 years and 14-18 years categories, discussing subjects such as parents and the London Olympics.
Organised by Hitchin Rotary Club, the competition pits teams of young people against each other in a war of words.
Dr John Vick was MC at the event and said: "It's a competition to encourage public speaking, the mastering of ideas and the presentation of arguments.
"We feel it's a very important life skill to have and through public speaking young people develop their self confidence and will find this very useful in later life.
"The evening was a great success and Princess Helena girls won because of their stimulating content and the way in which they presented it.
"The next stage will be the district semi-final when they will take on other schools from outside the Hitchin area."
Dr Vick wants to encourage other young people to join in.
Any group of teenagers can register if they are in full-time education - the Rotary Club has seen entries from the sea cadets in past competitions.
Head of Princess Helena College Anne-Marie Hodgkiss says the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition is a superb event for young people.
She said: "I am delighted that the girls have the opportunity to debate topical subjects and speak in front of an audience.
"It is vital to develop each girl's confidence and public speaking is a fantastic forum for doing this.