Students from local schools competed in the Enniskillen heat of the 37th Soroptimist Annual Youth Award Public Speaking Competition on Tuesday November 13 at Fermanagh House.

Representing four different schools in Enniskillen, the 10 competing Year 12 and 13 students had to prepare and perform speeches around four minutes long. The varied speeches were based on topics that are relevant to today’s society and reflect the values and aims of Soroptimist worldwide. These included Economic Empowerment, Environment Sustainability, Food Security, Learning Opportunities and Violence and Conflict Resolution.

Judges on the night were Mrs. Lorna Dane, who was representing Soroptimist International (SI) Enniskillen and Mrs. Carol Viney from South West College. This year’s Chief Judge was Mr. Tom Noble, former Principal of Erne Integrated College.

The 10 speeches delivered to the receptive audience were of a very high quality, making the judges’ task very difficult. After much deliberation, Mr. Noble announced the winner as Jasmine Dooris from Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, who gave a "highly competent and persuasive" speech.

Erin Connelly from Erne Integrated College took second place and two girls from Mount Lourdes, Katie Woods and Ciara Gillen, shared third place. The four winners received gift tokens and every competitor was presented with a participation certificate. Jasmine will now go on to compete in the Northern Ireland Final in Hillsborough in February 2019.

During a thorough adjudication with constructive advice on how the students could develop their public speaking skills, Mr. Noble gave his compliments to all the participants and was very enthusiastic about the quality of their speeches.

The event was well-supported by parents and friends of the students taking part and they were welcomed on the night by SI President elect, Michelle Kennedy. Members of the Enniskillen Soroptimist Club wish to thank all the Principals, teachers and parents who encouraged the pupils to take part in this valuable educational event. They look forward to contacting all the secondary schools once again next year.