Friday, April 08, 2005

From The Star: Eleven Teens In Finals For The Best Speaker Title

Haqqa, the captain for koleq's English debating team qualified for the final round of English Speaking Union's Public Speaking Competition - being the only Malay lad selected for the final round. The final is tomorrow at Eastin Hotel, so if you can make it, please drop by to support Haqqa.

At the same time tomorrow, our teams (four altogether) will be competing in the debating tournament organised by UIA. Haqqa will have to rush from Eastin to UIA tomorrow to catch up with the first debate.

I have seen the schedule and there are 4 debates on Sunday and Monday. I wish those kids in UIA (yeap they might be in uni but they are still kids, if only they realise it) and the lecturers who supervise them weigh the effect of cramping three or four debates in one day on 14 - 17 year old school boys. It was exhausting for us the coaches, let alone the kids, and they have to go back to sit for exams after this.

I know it must feel quite grand to be able to organise a so-called "large tournament involving hundreds of schools", but to do it at the expense of the welfare of 14 - 17 year old school children is pretty pathetic. I have a strong urge to write to UIA to ask them to plan for this carefully next time - if you want to involve hundreds of school, then either do it at stages or over a longer period of time, so that you don't cramp 3 or 4 debates in one day - but thinking of past experiences of how some of the so-called adjudicators were actually adolescents and therefore more prone to punishing my team for my outbursts, I will just make my points here.

Some of us will be around to help and to support - I hope they will do better this time. They have worked really hard all year around.

Anyway - kudos to Haqqa (his auntie actually won PPM in 1994, so debating is not exactly new to his family)

Eleven Teens In Finals For The Best Speaker Title

PETALING JAYA: Eleven youngsters with the gift of the gab will further hone their skills as they prepare to be the country’s best young speaker.

They were drawn from a pool of 37 aspirants for the grand finals of the English Speaking Union of Malaysia (Esum) Public Speaking Competition 2005 at the Eastin Hotel here this Saturday.

Judges selected them at Menara Star here on Monday from a list of semi-finalists who had made it through the preliminary rounds held simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Penang and Kota Kinabalu four days ago.

The two top winners of the national competition will earn an all-expense paid trip to London next month to represent Malaysia at the International Public Speaking Competition 2005.

Seventeen-year-old Yap Han Ern, one of those selected for the finals, said he was pleased to go through.

“This is my second year in the competition.

“I hope to use everything that I have gained from watching the winners last year to improve my standing,” said the teenager, who travelled from Johor Baru for the preliminary rounds in Kuala Lumpur.

The finalists included Anushka Ashwini Devaser, Au Yong Wai Nyan, Melissa Long and Suraiya Abdul Munaff, who all from Kuala Lumpur.

The others are Farquar Haqqani and Khor Lynn Ju (from Penang); Anusha Rajadorai and Karen Moy (Kuantan); and Lin Meiyi and Melina Tay (Kota Kinabalu).

Esum chairman Tunku Dara Tan Sri Naquiah Tuanku Jaafar said she was pleased with the growing response to the competition, which is in its third year.

“The standard has gone up by leaps and bounds. If you compare it to the first year, when many were scared to attend the workshop sessions, this is a good development.

“We are also very impressed with the response in Kuantan and Kota Kinabalu as this is the first time we have gone to these places,” she said.

The competition, with the theme Differences and Diversity, is jointly organised by Esum, HSBC and The Star, and is open to all students aged 16 to 20.

For enquiries on the finals, contact 03- 79671236/ 1250.

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