Youth Speaks success

As many of you may know, Thorpe House School has a well-deserved reputation for producing articulate and confident boys. This was much in evidence again last Friday (20th January), as our boys once again took to the podium in the regular Rotary “Youth Speaks” competition.  Our record run of success at this public speaking competition is well known, and yet again our teams of boys gave absolutely stellar performances in the competition, held this year at St Mary’s School.

Our teams and topics were:

Year 8 “Terrible Technology”
Chair – Shaan Patankar
Speaker – Tadgh Knight
Vote of thank – Abtin Hossein

Year 10 “Interminable Irritations”
Chair – Amarveer Purewall
Speaker – Ben Wober
Vote of thanks – Quinn Longman

The heats:
Competition was tough, with St Mary’s fielding a set of very talented speakers this year, with some intriguing and engaging topics, including, perhaps worryingly for our boys, “A Dangerous Woman is a Great Woman.” In spite of the challenge posed by such stiff opposition, our boys shone through with their own take on the trials and tribulations of modern life. Both Tadgh Knight and Ben Wober, the main speakers, were ably supported by all of their teammates, who both engaged and impressed the judges with their wonderful and often amusing, opening and closing remarks. Special mention should go to our Year 10 boys, who received especially positive remarks about their teamwork from the judging panel.

But of course, it is the main speakers who have the most challenging task, and both Ben and Tadgh received extremely complimentary remarks about their professionalism and confident delivery. But it is Ben Wober who absolutely stole the show, with his heartfelt and hugely humorous reflections on life’s irritations. It is no exaggeration to report that Ben wowed both judges and audience with his confidence, wit and insight. It was the stunning performance of the night. It was a real tour de force and an absolute credit to the school. Naturally of course he won, hands down, in the senior section, triumphing over those apparently “Dangerous” ladies!

The zone final:
Having had a triumphant performance in the heats, our year 10 boys travelled to Marlow to participate in the zone final yesterday (Thursday 26th). It is no exaggeration to say that the standard in these competitions becomes higher each year, and in this re-spect the zone final did not disappoint. Our boys faced the not inconsiderable task of overcoming some of the most talented speakers in the area, with strong participants from Reading Bluecoat and Wycombe Abbey schools, to name but two. Not only that, but our boys had to face the challenge of beating 17 and 18 year olds, from 6th form teams.

This year some of the themes were enormously challenging, involving complex and attention grabbing topic such as, an impassioned speech demanding the abolition of the monarchy and a vigorous call for more focus on human, rather than animal, welfare in charitable giving.
Ben, Amarveer and Quinn did spectacularly well, and as with the heats, the judges were enormously complimentary about their professionalism and the wonderful use of humour. Once again Ben’s presentation caused much hilarity, and achieved the same rapturous reception as it did in the heat competition.

After a memorable night, unfortunately Ben and his team didn’t progress to the finals, but what a performance! We are so enormously proud of their achievement and their determination to succeed.

Mr Hoar, Head of English