The Cayman Islands will be represented at the Optimist District Level Oratorical Contest on Saturday, 14 April, at the Norman Manley Law School, UWI Campus in Jamaica.
Abijith Anu, 12, from Cayman Brac was selected by a panel of three judges on Saturday, 24 March, at the Harquail Theatre, as the winner of the local Optimist Oratorical Contest, hosted by the Optimist Club of George Town, Grand Cayman.
Abijith, a student of the Layman E. Scott High School (formerly Cayman Brac High School) received a first place prize of US$500. Other winners were Oneka Thompson (John Gray High School) and Delano Callender (Clifton Hunter High School) who tied for second place and received US$350 each for their performances.
At the regional contest in Jamaica this weekend, Abijith will compete against other winners from Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda and Jamaica.
All of the contestants spoke eloquently on the topic “How my optimism helps me to overcome obstacles”. Chairman of the local contest, Mark Ray, stated, “All of the contestants were very impressive, including, in random order, the lone primary school student, 10-year-old David Swan (Prospect Primary School); Melissa Bridgemohan (John Gray High School); Erika Shim (John Gray High School), Starri Smith (Clifton Hunter High School), and of course, our three winners.”
Club President Fred Dallas commented, “The Optimist Club of George Town Grand Cayman wishes to congratulate all the participants and thank all the parents, teachers and friends who encouraged, coached and supported the contestants. Special thanks to the support of the media for this event, in particular, Paramount Media and Cayman 27.”
Minister of Education Rolston Anglin gave his support to the contest for the third straight year by attending the event and presenting the certificates of participation to all contestants and medals to the winners. The Minister noted that the level of the competition continues to be extremely high and he praised the contestants for their performances and encouraged the Optimist Club to continue to provide opportunities for students to express themselves.
The Oratorical Contest is the flagship programme of the Optimist Club of George Town, Grand Cayman. The club’s focus is to improve outcomes for children through a range of educational and fun activities for kids and parents. The club meets at 6.30pm every first and third Thursday of the month in the Hibiscus Room of the Cayman Islands Hospital in Grand Cayman.
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