On Wednesday January 24, primary schools went head to head with one another in the ‘Rotary Youth Speaks Competition’.

Dartmouth Academy’s year 6 pupils were the winners in the end.

The competition, held at Stoke Fleming Village Hall, featured intense yet friendly rivalry among local schools, Blackawton, Dartmouth and Stoke Fleming.

Dartmouth’s young speakers eloquently addressed the topic of ‘Would you rather be rich or happy?’ impressing both judges and audience alike.

The judges commented: “The winning team demonstrated exceptional teamwork, honed public speaking abilities, and a deep understanding of their chosen subject.

“Their articulate delivery and confidence on stage reflected the diligent preparation and dedication not only of the pupils but of Gemma McAnaney who supported them in their development.

“Teachers, parents, and fellow students cheered enthusiastically as the pupils were proudly presented with their certificates by BBC news reporter Ben Wolvin, himself a previous winner of the competition.”

A team from Stoke Fleming were runners-up. These two teams will go forward to the district final at Tavistock College on Saturday March 2nd.

The judges commented: “They gave a proficient, confident and informative presentation, working beautifully as a team.

“The pupils were an absolute credit to the school, not only delivering their message with passion and humour, but also becoming the winning team. With, Dartmouth Academy’s main speaker, also taking the prize for “Best Main Speaker”.

“Thank you goes to Mrs McAnaney who coached the team to success!”

Writing of the competition on the Rotary website, organisers said: ‘Challenge your public speaking abilities and perform, persuade, and entertain the audience with your display of knowledge of a topic. In teams of three, participants present arguments and points of discussion, before taking a question from the audience. Entrants can take part in the Intermediate (ages 11-13) or Senior (14-17) categories.’