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Three Craven schools entered eight teams in the annual Youth Speaks debating contest organised by the Rotary Club of Skipton, which took place at Ermysted's Grammar School.

Teams comprised a Chairperson, a Proposer and an Opposer, who had to make their pitch in 15 minutes before a panel of three judges, headed by Elaine Davies from the Craven Speaker's Club.  A Questioner asked one question but there were many from the floor.

The subjects, chosen by the competitors at Senior level were:

Giggleswick: 'Language endangerment. What are it's causes and how can we stop it?

Ermysted's 1st team: “It is better to plant a cabbage than a rose”

Ermysted's 2nd team: “Should Britain pay reparations to former colonies?”

Ermysted's 3rd team: “Should cosmetic surgery be banned?

Ilkley 1st team: “Veganism is the only valid approach to tackling climate change” (Chairperson Joseph Leach, Proposer Emily Wallace, Opposer Callum Edwards)

Ilkley 2nd team: “Should the traditional idea of homework be banned?” (Chairperson Emily Batchelor, Proposer Thomas Abel, Opposer Eve Dyson)

The subjects, chosen by the competitors at the Intermediate level were:

Ilkley A: “Smoking should be made illegal” (Chairperson: Orla Jeffries,Proposer Matthew Disney, Opposer Caitlin Robson)

llkley B: “Should violently graphic video games be banned?" (Chairperson Poppy Dyson, Proposer Maiya Gowon, Opposer Charlie Collinge)

Judge's comments have been passed on to the schools as there were so many questions which meant that time ran over. They felt that there were good quality presentations with a lot of information provided that showed a high level of research and knowledge of the varying topics. 

The winning senior team was Ermysted's team 3, and the best intermediate team was Ilkley B.

The best individual Speakers were Thomas Shaw of Ermysted's and Charlie Collinge of Ilkey.

It is hoped the winning teams will decide to advance to the next stage, under a slightly different format, at Leeds Trinity University, Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth LS18 5HD on  28th March 2020 at 13:00.

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