Pupils from primary and post-primary schools across the City of Lisburn recently took part in the annual Environmental Youth Speak competition at Lagan Valley Island.
Sixteen pupils from fourteen local schools displayed their impressive public speaking talents to the judging panel as they competed for a place at the regional final.
The aim of this competition is to encourage environmental awareness among young people by providing them with an opportunity to research and debate environmental issues.
There were two entry categories of Junior (P6 and P7 pupils) and Senior (Year 8 to Year 10 pupils) with this year’s themes being: “If I was Principal, this is how I would reduce waste in our school!” and “How our school can become more sustainable?”
Lisburn City Council’s Waste Management Section organised the Lisburn heat which took place in the Studio Theatre at Lagan Valley Island. The pupils who entered the competition were assessed on their topics by a judging panel of Council representatives.
Councillor Luke Poots, Vice-Chair of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, speaking at the local event, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the pupils who took part in this year’s local heat and congratulate them on a job well done.
“Public speaking is not an easy task to do and as one of the judges I experienced the high quality of the presentations first-hand; and each pupil had researched their topic well.
“It was really tough to identify the winners in each of the two age categories and the judging panel had to deliberate for a while. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the heat winner Sean Landau of Pond Park Primary School in the Junior Section, and Olivia Agnew and Katie Kennedy of Friends School in the Senior Section. On behalf of Lisburn City Council I wish them every success in the regional final on 1st April 2014.”
Each of the Lisburn heat winners delivered unique presentations which made them stand out; and the Council wishes them every success in the regional final in Craigavon.
Councillor Poots added: “Through participating in this Northern Ireland wide competition I hope that the pupils experienced an improvement in their own communication skills and self-confidence.
“ Each pupil who took part demonstrated their environmental awareness and understanding while providing well-reasoned presentations based on their research. In fact a number of those who presented at the regional heat personalised their talks and introduced humour which helped the audience and judges relate to their talks while making them memorable.
“By promoting this competition the Council is able to encourage the young people of Lisburn to become responsible citizens and develop an awareness of environmental sustainability in line with the Curriculum.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Kelly from the Council’s Waste Management Section for organising the event and liaising with the schools involved. Without the work of such dedicated council officers initiative like this would not take place,” he concluded.
All the participants at the Lisburn heat received a certificate and an environmentally friendly goodie bag. Councillor Poots presented the two heat winners with a Cup to be kept by their schools until next year’s competition.
If you would like more information on how schools can take part in the 2015 Environmental Youth Speak competition, please contact the Council’s Waste Management Section on 028 9250 9453.