Students challenged to speak up

The winner will represent the Cayman Islands at the international competition in Jamaica

Students will be speaking their minds on Saturday when they compete in the Cayman Optimist Club of George Town’s sixth Oratorical Contest. 

Nine students from schools throughout the islands will speak on the topic of “How My Passions Impact the World.”  

The winner will get the chance to represent the Cayman Islands at the Oratorical International Competition to be held in Jamaica in April. 

For their efforts, students in Cayman will also be awarded certificates of participation, oratorical pins and Optimist t-shirts. The top three contestants will receive monetary prizes and medallions. 

Last year’s winner, David Forbes of Clifton Hunter High School, who was 15 at the time, represented the Cayman Islands at the International Competition in Jamaica after winning first place and $500 in the Cayman contest. In Jamaica, he won first place in the boys category and a US$2,500 scholarship prize. 

David said winning the competition helped him develop his speaking skills and boosted his self-confidence to speak publicly. “I would definitely encourage others to participate in this worthwhile contest,” he said. 

International contest 

In Jamaica, the Cayman winner 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. 

The club’s oratorical contest is designed to help young people gain experience in public speaking and provides them with the opportunity to compete for a scholarship towards their education. It is also a platform for students to express their thoughts, build their confidence and oratory skills. 

The oratorical contest was first held in the United States in 1928 and is the longest-running program sponsored by Optimist International. 

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

In Cayman, the Optimist Club undertakes two key programs annually – the oratorical contest and Internet safety seminar. 

The contest will be held at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday at 10 a.m.  

Young people interested in learning more about the club, can visit www.optimistcayman.com

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David Forbes was last year’s winning public speaker in the Optimist Club Oratorical Contest.