Youth Speaks / Debate 2023 - 2024

This local heat is organised by the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock. It will be held on Tuesday 21st November 2023 from 18:00 hrs in the Ellis Theatre at The Gateway Academy, Marshfoot Rd, Tilbury, Grays RM16 4LU [Car parking on site.] Age group winners of this heat are then entered into the Rotary District 1240 competition. 
Youth Speaks: A Debate is organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (Rotary GB&I). . It is a four-stage competition which is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills.
Aims and objectives
The competition aims to offer young people:
  • experience in speaking on a public platform as a member of a team
  • an incentive to formulate ideas on topical subjects and to put these forward while being in opposition to another speaker
  • discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time
  • the opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression, presentation and appearance
  • impartial feedback and assessment of performance by experienced adjudicators
It is a team competition with each team comprising three young people who prepare and deliver a 15-minute debate on a topic of their choice in front of an audience. Teams should note that Rotary International is a non-religious and non-party political organisation and this should be respected by competitors. Subjects chosen for debate should not set out deliberately to cause offence to others. Teams may choose to change the topic for debate at any subsequent level of the competition.
Who can take part?
The competition is open to all schools and college communities and those who are home educated along with any other young peoples’ community organisations within the borough of Thurrock..
Each team will comprise of three students in full time education in one of two age groups:
            Intermediate       11 to 13 years 
            Senior               14 to 17 years
With the age qualifying date of 31st August 2023, it should be noted that some intermediate entrants may be 14 and some senior entrants may be 18 at the time of some or all the stage competitions. (i.e. A competitor who may be 17 on 31st August but turns 18 on 1st September is allowed to enter.) Competitors must include their age on the application form.
Students should enter the competition organised by the local Rotary club through their respective group, as detailed above.
Competitors, school, colleges, and organisations may participate in a district that is outside of their geographical boundary but may compete in only one club or district competition.