Chestnut Grove Pupil Wins Regional Final Of 'Speak Out' Challenge

14-year-old Rosa McDonnell now goes through to the final

Chestnut Grove Pupil Wins Regional Final Of 'Speak Out' Challenge in Wandsworth SW18
The Speak Out regional winners - first prize winner Rosa McDonnell is centre - with the Mayor of Wandsworth

The “Speak Out” Challenge is the world’s largest youth speaking event in the world, with over 19,000 students in London and Essex taking part.

It is funded and supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation and designed and delivered by Speakers Trust, the UK’s leading public speaking charity. 384 Year 10 students in Wandsworth’s state secondary schools received a one-day public speaking and communications training workshop. During the course, pupils were given the skills and the confidence to develop and deliver a competition speech on a topic that is important to them.

This week students came together at St Cecilia’s School and competed to become the Wandsworth “Speak Out” Challenge! Champion. 14-year-old Rosa McDonnell from Chestnut Grove Academy scooped top prize of a £100 gift certificate and the chance to go through to the Grand Final of the competition to be held at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden on Monday 2nd July 2018.

Rosa impressed the judges with a winning speech entitled “The Girlfriend, The Mother and The Wife” where she talked about female roles in theatre and film. Asked about the training and the competition she said, “I feel overwhelmed! I didn't think I'd win.”

A very respectable Second Place went to Luke St Clair, 14, from Southfields Academy with his speech “Loyalty”, and Third Place went to Oghale Erikigho from Bollingbroke Academy with a speech entitled “Older… Yes. Wiser… Really?"

The Mayor of Wandsworth, Leslie McDonnell, presented the awards and said, “Congratulations to Jack Petchey and to Speakers Trust for such a marvellous evening, and for the many years you've been running this programme. It's very important that public speaking isn't forgotten in education. We've seen brave, funny and thought-provoking speeches and you've been brilliant. I admire all of you, and especially those who had the courage to keep going when they stalled. There was not a weak speaker among you. I've very much enjoyed this evening.”

The judging panel at the event included: Hannah Cilia, Head of Grants, Jack Petchey Foundation; Amy Ewbank, Artistic Director, Doll's Eye Theatre; Russell Findlay, CEO, Speakers Trust; Lesley Strachan, Arts Editor, Radio Wandsworth; Sam Phillips, Councillor, Wandsworth Youth Council; and Ally Stuart, Runner-up, Wandsworth Regional Final 2017.

March 2, 2018