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School students rise to debating challenge at University for the Creative Arts

Local school students debated everything from American gun laws to social media and mental health at the Youth Speaks Public Speaking Competition, held at our Farnham campus.

A total of eight teams of year 11 and sixth form students, from schools in Alton, Farnborough, Farnham and Haslemere, took part in the first round of the senior competition, which is sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Farnham and Farnham Weyside.

UCA Deputy Vice-Chancellor Alan Cooke addressed the audience with a welcome speech and said that the event was a fantastic opportunity to prepare students for when they move on to university life.

The team from Farnborough Hill School were announced as the winners on the night for their discussion on whether or not social media is really social. The team will now progress to the next round of the competition. Alton Convent’s speakers were named runners up for debating the influences of film and media on society.

President of The Rotary Club of Farnham, George Alford, said: “I have learnt more here than I would have done if I had stayed at home and spent the evening listening to the news on television or radio. The content has been much more interesting and there have been some great speakers here tonight.

“The Rotary Clubs of Farnham and Farnham Weyside have been delighted by the quality and quantity of entries. It has been a truly outstanding evening. I would like to thank UCA for providing a fantastic venue for participants, who will no doubt aspire to spend more time here in the future.”

In addition to Farnborough Hill School and Alton Convent, participating schools included Weydon School, All Hallows Catholic School, Amery Hill School, The Royal School, Salesian College and Farnborough Sixth Form College.