Students get their message across

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CONTROVERSIAL topics were debated at the Suffolk round of a public speaking competition staged by the English Speaking Union.

Held at St Benedict’s Upper School, in Bury St Edmunds, five teams tackled subjects as diverse as blood sports, the right to die and reality television.

The competition is designed to test public speaking skills and the ability to ask and answer impromptu questions.

Laura Brown, from the Royal Hospital School, at Holbrook, won the prize for best speaker with her argument that Queen Elizabeth II should be the last monarch.

Rupert Powell, also from Holbrook, was marked best chairman and Matt Dawson, from St Benedict’s, was named best questioner.

Overall team winners were Holbrook, with St Benedict’s coming a close second.

ESU president Alexander Finnis said it had been ‘an enjoyable and uplifting event’ and speakers were ‘refreshing with their views’.

Judges were Trevor Hawkins, Jo Thewlis and Amanda Skull.

Lesley Anslow, from the Bury Free Press, presented the prizes.

The winning team now goes on to the regional final.