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Issued: March 21, 2016

PICTURE: A picture can be viewed and downloaded HERE
West Hatch studeny highly commended at Gresham College Worshipful Company of Educators Public Speaking Competition

Year 10 student Joe Mulvihill-Young was Highly Commended for his delivery of 'The Beautiful Ugly Game' at the Gresham College Worshipful Company of Educators Public Speaking Competition on Monday (March 21).

Joe impressed judges with his passion, causing one judge to comment: "This is the first time I have ever shown any interest in football!" Some of the issues Joe raised - such as greed from players, racism from crowds and the example set by FIFA - caused interesting questions to be asked from the floor which Joe answered with aplomb.

'Not so social media', delivered by fellow Year 10 student Jake Groce, was received with cheers as he challenged the audience to think about priorities in their social media use.

Social media was the hot topic of the night with many of the speakers raising concerns about its widespread use amongst young people.

Caroline Haines, the mentor of Public Speaking and Debating teams at West Hatch, said: "We are very proud of Joe and Jake.

"Both put a huge amount of time into preparing their topics and they deserve congratulations for being brave enough to stand up in front of adults and colleagues and challenge perceptions."

Sixteen students from nine London schools took part in the competition.

It is hoped that both Joe and Jake will take part in the Epping Forest Parliamentary Debating Competition, organised each year by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing, in the Autumn.

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