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Young Speechmaker Contest Exposés Talented Youth

Young Speechmaker Contest Exposés Talented Youth

A year 13 student at Dunstan High School in Central Otago, Honor Lanham, has been awarded first place in the New Zealand Lions Young Speechmaker Contest final held on Saturday in Hamilton.

Honor, 17, has won a 4-6 week all expenses paid trip, sponsored by the East Hamilton Lions Club, to the United Kingdom for her speech called ‘An email from London’.

Honor's prepared speech contrasted her living in London, to back home in Central Otago by reciting mock emails to her parents and comparing the differences.

She was sponsored by the Lions Club of Alexandra-Dunstan and represented the Lions Distinct 202F which covers Southland and Central Otago. This is the same District from which the 2003 winner also came.

Twenty young New Zealanders competed in the Young Speechmaker Contest final. They were selected from 93 young people who entered regional contests held recently in the country’s ten Lions Clubs districts.

The contest has been held for over 25 years and is the major public speaking contest for young New Zealanders. Open to 17-21 year olds, each entrant makes a five minute prepared speech and an impromptu speech of up to two minutes.

Kerry Beach, Young Speechmaker National Co-ordinator thought it was a fantastic day, with a great group of young people and believes our future is in good hands. “There was a very high calibre of performance on display with a wide range of topics for the prepared speech. The impromptu topic, "Black and White", proved a colourful topic for the contestants.

One feels very proud and humbled to be a Lion involved in such a wonderful project for our youth. These young people are an absolute credit to themselves, their families and to their communities that they represent,” says Mr Beach.

Contest winner Honor Lanham was rapt with the win: “I am ecstatic. The whole experience was so memorable - I particularly enjoyed meeting the amazing people. The other contestants were so intelligent and kind and even though we had to compete, we were all really close by the end of the day.

The Lions organisers and supporters were also fantastic. I am so privileged to be able to travel across the world and grateful to both the East-Hamilton Lions Club and my local club for sponsoring me so I can have this opportunity. I couldn’t have done it without my speech and drama teacher Leigh Finch, other teachers at school and my family who knew the speech as well as I did by the end!” says Honor.

Honor's hobbies and interests include skiing, running, reading, writing poetry, travelling, speech and drama and she has recently received her A.T.C.L. Her sporting interests include athletics, for which she has represented her province at the Nationals last year, road and trail running and netball. Next year Honor wishes to attend Otago University in Dunedin to study for a career in International Law.

This year’s runner-up Lewis Bollard, a year 13 student at Wellington Boys College, will attend an International Youth Camp at Lake Okataina’s Outdoor Education and Recreation Centre near Rotorua, which will host 40 students from 21 countries

Lewis, 17, was sponsored by the Wellington North Lions Club. His interests include international relations, politics, history, debating and drama. His sporting interests include rowing and basketball and he intends to seek a career in charity work.

Third place went to Juilian Braatvedt, a year 13 student from Takapuna Grammar on Auckland's North Shore. Juilian was sponsored by the Lions Club of Devonport and is aiming for a career in Journalism.

Judges considered voice and grammar, speech structure, development and speech value and effectiveness. Finals judges included Lucie Armstrong - Immediate Past International Director of Lions, Gary Baillie - Head of Department of English at St Paul’s Collegiate and Josephine Wood, a speech communication consultant from Hamilton.

Lions Clubs in New Zealand

The first New Zealand Lions Club was formed in 1955 in Auckland. Now there are around 500 Clubs, and 12,700 members. Worldwide the International Association of Lions Clubs has a membership of over 1.3 million in 192 countries and geographical areas.

The emphasis is on community service in all forms. Lions programmes serve the young and the aged, the disabled and the disadvantaged - anybody who has a need. Programmes are conducted locally, nationally and internationally. They include sight conservation and work with the blind, citizenship services, hearing and speech action, programmes with the deaf, drug education, and environment, recreational, health and social services.

Lions' contributions to the development and care of New Zealand youth include living skills programmes, drug awareness, an international youth exchange programme, the national Young Speechmaker Contest and International Peace Poster Competition.

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