Dozens of school pupils from across the council area participated in the 2017 Environmental Youth Speak competition at Lagan Valley Island recently.
The annual event, hosted by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, saw 35 students from 21 primary and post-primary schools confidently display their public speaking skills in front of a judging panel of council representatives.
The aim of the competition, organised by the council’s Waste Management Section, is to encourage environmental awareness among young people by providing them with an opportunity to research and debate environmental issues.
The event was categorised into a Junior Section (P6 and P7 pupils) and Senior Section (Year 8 to Year 10 pupils), with this year’s themes being: ‘From Land to Landfill - How can we STOP Food Waste?’ and ‘Don’t Bin it, Bring it!’
The winners’ cups went to Olivia Knight from St Joseph’s Primary School, Carryduff in the Junior Section and Sophie Browne and Kirsten Beattie of Lagan College in the Senior Section.
In second place were April Brady and Maeve Millar from Rowandale Integrated Primary School (Junior Section) and Emily Willis from Laurelhill Community College (Senior Section). Taking third place were Daniel Allen and Josh Cimic from Dundonald Primary School (Junior Section) and Rachel Snape and Lynne Orr from Lisnagarvey High School (Senior Section).
Councillor James Baird, Chairman of the council’s Environmental Services Committee, commented: “I was delighted to be part of the judging panel at this year’s Environmental Youth Speak competition and hear first-hand the quality of presentations created by our young residents. This competition has grown annually, with our young people always delivering excellent presentations on the nominated recycling topics.
“Protecting the environment is an important role for everyone and it is encouraging to hear the pupils talk so passionately about waste reduction and recycling. I hope their speeches influence fellow classmates, friends and family to reduce, reuse and recycle in the years ahead.
“I was particularly impressed with the high level of competence displayed and it was very clear that a great deal of preparation went into each presentation. The panel had a particularly difficult time judging the two categories due to the high level of public speaking displayed in this ‘too close to call’ competition. Public speaking is not an easy task and nerves can often creep in, but I must say everyone did a fantastic job; and I have no doubt that the pupils’ parents and teachers are extremely proud of their achievements.”
All the participants received a certificate, a reusable shopping bag made from recycled material and a food scoop to reduce food waste.
For information about the 2018 Environmental Youth Speak competition, or to book a visit by the Waste Education Officer, call 028 9250 9453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org