On the 1st March, 2014, the team of Romina Golchin, Rebecca O’Shaughnessy and Aoife Crotty participated in the National Final of the Irish Federation of University Women Public Speaking Competition. Once again, this capable trio did themselves (and their school) proud in coming away with an impressive array of silverware. Romina Golchin won the prize for overall Best Individual Speaker in the competition, bringing away the Joyce Craig Perpetual Trophy. And if such success wasn’t exciting enough, the Scoil Mhuire team were Runners Up in the Team Competition. Scoil Mhuire are the first ever winners of the newly established Anne Budd Memorial Prize, and a very touching presentation was made to the girls by members of the Budd family. It was so exciting to participate in the competition, and an even greater delight to come away with such success.
Now for the details…. The Final took place in the Quinn Building, UCD, and the girls were the representatives from the UCC Qualifier which took place at the end of January. There were team and individual competitors from the four other regional qualifiers – NUIG, UCD, TCD and Queens University, Belfast. The competition attracted a much larger crowd than that experienced in Cork – the auditorium was full – and the girls very much rose to the challenge of this big and daunting occasion. Each girl had fifteen minutes to prepare a three minute speech on a particular topic. Romina impressed the adjudicators with her style, presence and delivery on the topic of “It’s Tough Being A Teen,” during which she displayed wit, humanity and intelligence on a potentially untamable topic. Rebecca spoke on a topic that could easily lend itself to a wooden, Al Gore-ish type monotony – “Recycling – What A Load Of Rubbish!” – but luckily, Rebecca’s drole wit combined with her insightful and intelligent argument ensured an entertaining and thought-provoking three minutes. Aoife stunned her audience by openly declaring war (she certainly got this teacher’s attention!) during a presentation about Young People and Heritage. Worry not – the war, Aoife promised us, is between the past and the present…. She spoke compellingly about the importance of keeping our culture and heritage alive, suggesting strategies that can be employed to do so. The girls were superbly composed and eminently professional in their poise and presence during the competition, and it was an excellent experience for all concerned.
Many people need to be thanked. Firstly, thanks to Ms. Lucette Murray from the UCC delegation of IrFUW for organising absolutely everything, from the qualifier to the final (train tickets, taxis, lunch – you name it, Lucette had it sorted!). Thanks also to Ms. Fiona Murray, who generously gave up time in her busy schedule to help the girls. Fiona is a champion Toast Master, and we were very fortunate to benefit from her wisdom and expertise. Thank you also to all the parents who drove and delivered, and without whose perpetual support nothing would be possible (and who, doubtless, patiently endured endless hours of seemingly inane talk at home!. Thanks to Mrs. Kerrie Crotty for her presence and support in joining the girls on their adventure to Dublin and, finally, thank you to Armina Golchin (our lucky charm!) and Sorchadh Boland, who also came to Dublin to support their classmates/sister. The “cheerleaders” put the girls through their paces on the train and played an essential supporting role.
- Romina Golchin is due to participate in the National Final of the Matheson Ormsby Junior Mace in Dublin on the 5th April.
- Beth Mallen and Zahra Khan were selected to go forward to the National phase of the European Youth Parliament. This year’s National EYP takes place in Portlaois on the 13th, 14th and 15th of March. Best of luck, ladies!