Oratorical contest: Optimism abounds for Forbes

David Forbes of Clifton Hunter High School is headed to Jamaica after winning the Optimist Club of George Town’s fifth Annual Oratorical Contest. 

David, 15, will represent the Cayman Islands at the District Level Contest in Jamaica on 13 April. He won $500.  

Only 1 ½ points separated David from second place finisher Abijith Anu of Layman E Scott High School, who won $350, and even closer was the ½ point that put Abijith ahead of Jada Ramoon, also from Clifton Hunter High School, who won $150. 

The topic of the 23 March contest was “Why my voice is important”.  

Contestants from Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School, Prospect Primary School, George Town Primary School and Layman E. Scott High School (Cayman Brac High School) spoke for four to five minutes on the topic at the Harquail Theatre. 

Contest Chairperson, Elaine Harris said, “The participants were courageous and outstanding in their orations. It is essential for us to empower our youth with the right skill set and opportunities, for we are not only encouraging success but we are also investing in the future leaders of these islands.” 

The Optimist Oratorical programme was first conducted in 1928 and is aimed toward building confidence and public speaking skills. The contest provides a platform for youngsters to share their opinions publicly and an opportunity to speak to the world.  

More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundation is awarded annually from this programme. Nearly 2,000 clubs worldwide participate in the Oratorical Contest each year. 

Each contestant was presented with a certificate of participation, Oratorical Pin and an Optimist T-Shirt. The top three contestants received monetary prizes and medallions. 

Club President Mark Ray stated, “Once again we had a very high level of competition this year. We are excited to have David represent us at the District Level contest on the 13th of April in Jamaica, especially after our excellent showing in Jamaica in 2012 by Abijith, who won our Club competition last year.” 

In Jamaica, David will have the opportunity to interact with and compete against other Oratorical winners from the region including countries such as Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Lucia. The winner at the District Level Contest will receive a US$2,500 scholarship.  

Ms Harris noted that the event would not have been possible without the efforts of the students, parents, teachers, the Oratorical judges, volunteers and the support of sponsors. 


Further information on the Optimist Club of George Town Grand Cayman, call 927-9070. 


The Optimist Oratorical Contest 2013 was held recently. The winner was David Forbes, centre; second place was Abijith Anu, to David’s right; and third was Jada Ramoon, to his left.
Photo: Submitted

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