Soroptimist International Ballymoney and District Public Speaking Competition




On Thursday 17th November 2016 five Rainey pupils took part in the Soroptimist Annual Youth Award Public Speaking Competition. The Ballymoney Regional round of the competition had eighteen pupils taking part from six different local schools. Emma Payne (Year 12,) Courtney Weir (Year 12,) Ellie Beattie (Year 12,) Emily Ussher (Year 12,) and Megan Henson (L6th) represented Rainey Endowed. The competition requires competitors to deliver a six minute speech on a topic chosen from the Soroptimist list of options, in front of an audience and a panel of judges.


Emma, Courtney and Ellie delivered inspiring and thought-provoking speeches on the topic, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” Both Emily and Megan chose to deliver their speeches on the debate, “Living to one hundred – good or bad?” and both girls provided the audience with a careful balance of humour and some very serious ethical questions.


Once again the standard was incredibly high and all eighteen girls delivered excellent speeches. We are incredibly pleased to say that Courtney Weir was chosen as the overall winner of the Ballymoney Heat whilst a pupil from St Mary’s Grammar came second and a pupil from St Patrick’s College took third place – all three girls were deserved winners.
Courtney will now go on to compete in the Northern Ireland Regional Final which will be held in February 2017 in Hillsborough, County Down.
Finally I would like to say congratulations to all five Rainey girls on their brilliant performances. The girls volunteered to take part in the competition and they attended rehearsals at break and lunch times as well as after school. They all represented the school so well. I hope that public speaking is also about “the lighting of a fire,” and may Courtney continue to burn the Rainey flame at the N.I final! All in all, it is safe to say that public speaking is definitely sparkling at the Rainey!