SECONDARY school pupils from across Ayr and Carrick took part in a Rotary-sponsored Youth Speaks competition last week.

The pupils from Ayr Academy, Kyle Academy and Carrick Academy took part in the new debate formation hosted by Kyle Academy presenting their cases in front of a panel of judges.

The formidable judging panel comprised two former teachers, Eileen Haddow and Paul Williams, along with Tom Raffel, well-known Burnsian and public speaker.

First up was Kyle Academy debating the motion “Prince Harry – friend or foe” with the opening statement put forward by Beth Paterson and then debated by Murray Graham and Julie Dunn, with Murray arguing the case that Harry was a “living legend”.

Next up was Carrick Academy whose debate contested the question: “Should schooling be more flexible?” which was introduced by Ciava Campbell. Sophie Valrighi argued the motion that pupils would attain better results if they were permitted more individual control over their daily curriculums. Whereas Zoe Murray put up a stout defence for the status quo.

The final debate was held by Ayr Academy and chair Scott Morton outlined the contested subject “A second independence referendum?”

Calum Boyle made a presentation arguing the case for Scotland to vote yes. Arka Lewandowski put forward the case against a second referendum.

Paul Williams of Ayr Rotary Club complimented all three teams on their bravery in stepping out of their comfort zones before providing some helpful suggestions on the art of public speaking. He confirmed that Ayr Rotary Club would be sponsoring the winners, Kyle Academy, in the District Final competition and that Alloway Rotary Club would be nominating Carrick Academy.