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Public speaking success in Ottawa

Adrenaline, friendship and victory: these are just three of the words that describe the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition, or IISPSC. This competition hosts many schools from around the globe, from far away places such as India, Cyprus, the UK, Jordan and of course Bermuda, not to mention the best US and Canadian schools. Team Saltus, consisting of Eoin McMahon, Arielle DeSilva, Jasmine Cooke, Kacee Morton-Simons, Marcus Smith, Ciara Burrows and Coach Ms. Christianna Hiles, were privileged to be invited again to this competition. This year the competition was hosted at Ashbury College, Ottawa.

Amongst the swirling crimsons, oranges and ambers of the fall leaves, which blanketed the school grounds, inside the various halls and classrooms of Ashbury serious competition was going on. Students who had practiced hour upon hour finally were able to show their skills to the other eager competitors and judges. Each student took part in three different types of competitions, participating in each twice before being hopefully making it through to the finals. Some examples of what categories there were on offer were: parliamentary debate, dramatic interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, and impromptu speaking and radio newscast. Each category had different rules and regulations that each competitor had to learn before taking part.

Though the days were long, sometimes finishing at 10.30pm and starting as early as 7.45am, the time spent in Ottawa was extremely fun. Ashbury arranged for all teams to be able to explore the city and we were even privileged enough to be given a tour of the Houses of Parliament. We were extremely privileged to meet senator Anne Cools, and also have the parliamentary finals in the senate chambers on Parliament Hill, where only a few lucky students had been able to use the space to compete before.

When time came for the finals, Saltus was extremely lucky to have head boy, Eoin McMahon participating in the finals of the extemporaneous speaking category. Saltus pride went above and beyond in this category as Eoin ended up racing ahead of the competition and winning the overall category. Last year Eoin and the recently graduated former head boy, Jacari Brimmer-Landy, placed second together in cross examination debating, showing that Saltus is going from strength to strength and hopefully will continue to do so next year.

Anyone in S9 or above who is interested in representing Saltus Grammar School in the IISPSC next fall should contact Ms. Hiles. This experience is like no other, and though it may have been tiring at times, it was totally worth it.

The great debate: Outside the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa, the Saltus public speaking team paused for a photo during their trip to the Canadian capital last fall. From left to right: Marcus Smith, Ciara Borrows, Christianna Hiles (coach) Eoin McMahon, Kacee Morton-Simons, Jasmine Cooke and Arielle DeSilva.

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Published March 17, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 17, 2011 at 9:50 am)

Public speaking success in Ottawa

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