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Local pupils speak out on bullying, drugs and parenting at Rotary Youth Speaks

The annual Rotary Youth Speaks competition was a hotly-contested event held in the John Paul II School in Southfields. The South West London Regional round was held last Saturday 9th February.

Teams representing John Paul II School, Southfields Community College and Putney High School participated in the contest, which was organised jointly by all seven Rotary Clubs in the South West London area. Each team consisted of three pupils: one chairing the team, one giving the keynote address and the other giving a vote of thanks.

Putney High School’s team consisting of Goli Khonsari, Olivia Archibald and Nicole Kent (pictured, with Rotary District Governor Colin Mathews) won the prize for the best team performance. They proposed that parenting classes should be offered in schools. The other teams took on equally controversial topics like tackling Bullying in Schools and Drug Abuse.

The prize for best speaker was shared between Clifford Puplampu of Southfields Community College and Thomas Ryan of John Paul II School. Goli Khonsari, from Putney High School was recognized as the Best Chairman.

The panel of adjudicators included a senior immigration and asylum judge, a Balham Youth Court magistrate and the Head of Classics from Francis Holland School. Each team was put on the spot with challenging questions from Rotarian and Wandsworth Fairfields Ward Councillor Vanessa Graham.

Prizes were handed out by Rotary District Governor, Colin Mathews, a member of Putney Rotary Club. He commended the high standard of preparation and speaking… “I’d like to thank all these young people for an excellent effort. The adjudicators had a real challenge to pick the overall winners – with the best speaker prize having to be shared!”
The winners of the competition will now go forward to compete in a London-wide event to be held in the City of London later this month.

John Paul II School was thanked for hosting the event, the second in a week, with the Rotary Young Chef competition held there the day before.

Teachers from local schools are invited to enter teams for next year’s Rotary Youth Speaks competition and should submit details via the Putney Rotary Club website (

09 Feb 2008

Notes to Editors

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Members carry out this work in their community and/or overseas by giving their time and their expertise.

A Rotary Club is open to men and women who are business, professional or community leaders who want to use their experience for the benefit of others. Paul Harris formed the world's first service club in Chicago on 23rd February 1905. The name Rotary is derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.


For further information about this news release, please contact Di King [Email]

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