“Pooh power” might sound like something from Winnie the Pooh but it won young students an award.
Ardingly College students took the honours in the first round of “Youth Speaks,” the public speaking competition for schools organised annually by the Rotary Club of Cuckfield and Lindfield.
In the intermediate section for 11 to 13 year-olds, Ardingly Prep fielded a strong team who captured the audience’s attention with their topic, “Poohpower”, or the adaptation of human waste for reducing energy shortfalls. Speaker Tom Cunningham did well to keep a straight face while the audience fell around laughing. He was ably supported by Ben Belcher as chairman, and Sophie Crooks, who did the Vote of Thanks. Tom was voted Best Speaker in this section, while Sophie was Best Vote of Thanks.Awards also went to students from Great Walstead and Oathall Community College at Haywards Heath.
The Best Chair award went to Isla Tuttle from Great Walstead.
The senior section drew on some controversial issues, discussing whether we should pay for our education, and taking a look at drug-taking in sport.
The Ardingly College team were placed first, with an exposé of various Indian myths, such as Bollywood and Chicken Tikka Masala, said to be more British than Indian. And on the question of traditional British foods which would find favour in India, Dhriti Oza, as speaker, came straight out with “Chocolate.”
Chair of the winning Ardingly College team was Isaac Segal and Sophia Fossali was their Vote of Thanks.
Dhriti and Isaac also took the top individual awards for their respective roles and Best Vote of Thanks went to Samuel Mitchell from Oathall Community College.
Awards to the teams were presented by Cllr Gordon Marples, Chairman of Mid-Sussex District Council, who said that the inspiring results on the evening were a tribute to the hard work put in by all of the teams and their teachers.
Nigel Page, who took time off from his duties as Chairman of Cuckfield Parish Council to act as an adjudicator, said:“All of the teams did really well.”