|Local Schoolchildren Have Their Say on the Environment|
20 April 2012
Local schoolchildren proved they had plenty to say about important environmental issues when they took part in this year’s Environmental Youth Speak competition held at Banbridge District Council’s Civic Building on Thursday 19 April.
This is the eight year that the council has organised the local round of this competition on behalf of the Southern Waste Management Partnership (SWAMP).
The competition is open to pupils at both primary and secondary level with the aim of getting them to think carefully about the importance of environmental issues.
Following a fantastic display of public speaking from all participants it was Jacob Somerville from Fairhill Primary School who was crowned ‘Banbridge Junior Environmental Youth Speak Champion 2012’ and Megan Rafferty from Newbridge Integrated College who was declared ‘Banbridge Senior Environmental Youth Speak champion 2012’.
Both children scored top marks in their sections in what proved to be a very closely fought competition. Jacob spoke about the topic “Shrink your bin…one less bag to landfill” and Megan spoke on the subject of “WEEE waste, big problem. What can we do?”
Jacob and Megan will now represent the district at regional level by competing with the winners from seven other council districts within the southern area. The regional round of the competition will take place on Thursday 26 April in Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey. The overall NI competition winner will also be declared at this event following the announcement of regional winners.
The council’s Environmental Education Officer, Tracy Fitzpatrick, who organised the competition said, “I am delighted with the enthusiasm of the pupils who competed and the quality of their presentations. Every pupil did themselves and their school proud and with such an exceptionally high standard it was a very difficult job to choose the overall winners.
All pupils who took part in the competition today showed a real talent for public speaking and demonstrated a very good understanding of environmental issues. This competition has great educational value as it helps young people learn how to express themselves on a particular subject as well as teaches them about the importance of protecting the environment.”