For the first time in our long history of participation in the Rotary Club International Youth Speaks public speaking competition, TWO teams of Year 7 pupils entered the first round of the 2016-17 competition! This round was between Wigan local schools, competing for the prestigious Peter Peacock Shield.

Shevington Advocates – comprising Abigail Lythgoe (Chairperson), Kristen Cunliffe (Speaker) and April Graydon (Vote of Thanks) – presented a passionate and topical series of speeches on ‘LGBT’ issues. With content aiming to raise awareness of gender and sexual equality, this mature and sensitive topic was skilfully handled – especially in light of the horrific events in Orlando over the weekend.

Shevington Squad – comprising Eleanor Gaskell (Chairperson), Jasmine Roberts (Speaker) and Ellie Simm (Vote of Thanks) – delivered an outstanding and equally topical series of speeches on ‘Overcoming’. Reference was made to the difficulties many famous people have had to overcome, with a particular focus on the recent Invictus games.

Both teams were absolutely superb in their presentations, working together and giving their very best. Unfortunately there could only be one winner, and Shevington Advocates were named as winners of this round. Kristen Cunliffe also won the individual award for Best Speaker – amazing!

This victory means Shevington High School have won the Peter Peacock Shield four times – more than any other Wigan school.

The presentations from the Deanery and St Peters were also of a very high standard; there was very little between the teams in the end, and this was noted as a testament to the hard work all pupils and teachers put in to achieve this.

The teams were accompanied by the staff members who have worked with them – Mr Lunt with ‘Advocates’, and Miss Lloyd with ‘Squad’. They were also supported by Emily Dalton (Advocates) and Emily Gorman (Squad) who have helped the teams prepare speeches over the last few weeks.

Many thanks to Gwyneth Millard of Wigan Rotary Club for organising the event, and St John Rigby College for hosting it.

The teams may relax a little this week, but they are set to perform in several events across school over the next few weeks, and will both need to be even more ready (if that is possible!) for the District Heats, again at St John Rigby, to be held in February 2017 – more on that to follow.

Well done, teams!
Mr Lunt