Soroptomist Girls' Public Speaking Competition

The first round of the annual Soroptomist Girl's Public Speaking competition was held on the 29th of November, and St. Mary's was strongly represented by four incredibly talented young women. Nine hopefuls out of Transition Year originally hoped to make it to the first stage (Local heat) of the mational competition, but it was Shauna Barry (4.1), Áine Galavan (4.3), Ella Lyng (4.2), and Ellie Quinn (4.1) who were chosen by an imperial adjudicator to represent the school at the Heats. In the run-up to the competition, the girls practiced daily under the watchful eye of Ms Goulding, TY Coordintor and Public Speaking teacher. If the four took anything at all away from these sessions, it was without a doubt to "slow down!"

The big day itself arrived with a flurry of well wishes for the competitiors from friends and acquaintances. The event was held in the Riverbank Hotel, Wexford, which provided a lovely dropback to the many impassioned speeches which were made by all the contestants. The speech topics available were (A) Human Rights - Domestic Violence is Everyone's Business; (B) Health - Global Food Extremes; (C) Environmental Destruction; (D) Democracy - Female Representation in Powerful Positions; (E) Empowerment of Women - No one can make you feel inferior without your consent; (F) Education - Education is life itself; and (G) Friendship & Volunteering - Service to others is the rent you pay for your time on Earth. 

Ellie Quinn spoke eloquently on Topic A, Human Rights, as did Shauna Barry, Áine Galavan gave an impassioned speech on Topic E, Empowerment of Women, and Ella Lyng served all present a healthy dose of harsh truths regarding the Irish educational system in her speech on Topic F, Education. 

The most popular topic on the night was by far Empowerment of Women, with over half of the 16 contestants speaking on it. I believe that the topic choice panned out in this manner because, as young women ourselves, empowering one another is something which the overwhelming majority of us are incredibly passionate about. 

After a half-hour break, the adjudicators came back with the names of the two speakers selected to represent the Wexford Soroptimist Organsiation at the Regional Heats in February. Álanna Hammel (Coláiste an Átha, Kilmuckridge) and Charlotte Glynn (Presentation Wexford) were the two selected to progress in the competition, but Ellie Quinn of the Mercy was chosen to be reserve for the next round in the case of one of the speakers being unable to attend the next round. 

The Mercy may not have emergeed as winners this time around, but the competitiors were all unanimous in agreeing that the whole competition was an invaluable experience and one whose memory they will cherish.   

Written by Jane Prendergast (4.2)