Our warmest congratulations go to Notre Dame student Jenny Gibson. On Sunday 8 March she won the regional round of the Catenian Public Speaking Competition for Fifth and Sixth Form students in Catholic Education.
Jenny, who is currently in lower sixth, is pictured above with her impressive trophy. Not only was she awarded first prize in the regional competition; she has also earnt her place at the national final, which will take place on Sunday 13 September in Manchester. Jenny gave an excellent speech on the subject 'I disagree with everything you say but I will defend your right to say it'. Audience members had Jenny as their first choice during the refreshment break while the adjudicators were deliberating.
Competing alongside Jenny was her fellow student Beth Eaton. Beth came third in the competition, with her own very good presentation on the subject ‘If you are breathing, thank a tree.’ Both of our students were presented with their certificates by the Bishop of Hallam, Rt Rev Ralph Heskett.
Ms Sarah Barber, the Head of Faculty who supported our students during this competition, said, "Jenny and Beth were selected to represent Notre Dame as winners of our own public speaking contest, and they have demonstrated that our students shine through as imaginative free-thinkers, able to deliver their speeches with conviction."
This is the second year in a row that a Notre Dame student has won the regional round of this annual competition, which is organised and run by the Catenians, an international Catholic association ( https://www.thecatenians.com/). We previously won the regional competition in 2017, so Jenny’s success this year has made it a hat trick. We wish Jenny the very best of luck for the final in September.