We were delighted to host the final of this years’ GDST Chrystall Prize for Public Speaking in which five Year 11 girls from Trust schools who had each won their regional round, descended on Ealing to fight it out with words for this most coveted of GDST trophies.
Each competitor is required to speak for seven minutes without visual aids, hold the audience’s attention, engage their interest and then take three minutes of questions. Cerys from Northampton High School opened the afternoon with original and engaging argument on whether or not it is true to say young people seem to be disconnected from politics. She was followed by Rebecca from Sydenham High who spoke with with great verve on ‘do we get the politicians’ we deserve’. Next up was Streatham and Clapham’s Pippa with ‘choosing what we wear is a basic human right’ and she was followed by Notting Hill & Ealing’s own Anika who offered a closely argued and passionate speech on the importance of restrictive gun laws in protecting society. Sheffield High’s Anya rounded off the afternoon with a nuanced and clever argument on why those of us living in the early 21st century are the luckiest people in the history of the world.
Our judges, GDST Chief Executive Cheryl Giovannoni and journalists Stephen Sackur and James Coomarasamy, had the unenviable task of picking a winner from what was probably the most polished and accomplished line up in recent years. They were full of praise for all the finalists and in particular for their mastery of their individual subjects, their poise and the way in which they dealt with questions from the floor. In the end they awarded second prize to Cerys from Northampton High School and first prize, and the Chrystall Prize trophy, to Anya from Sheffield High. Worthy winners in the closest of competitions. Congratulations to all the finalists!
- The Chrystall Prize is named in memory of Chrystall Carter, long-time Legal adviser to the GDST. It was set up by her husband, Richard, in her memory and to mark her commitment to the girls in the schools she represented, her pleasure in their success and her belief in the power of reasoned argument.
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