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  • Writer's pictureEmily

News Feature: Jack Petchey Final

By Emily

This year, another Jack Petchey Final was held, starring our very own Year 10’s and their amazing speeches. It was an incredibly exciting final to witness, with so many different and unique ideas that the Year 10’s expertly crafted into wonderful speeches.

We asked Ms Wilson, Bolingbroke's representative for the Jack Petchey Award, a bit about the process of training the Jack Petchey students. She said, "Originally, the speeches were created in the workshop in January 2022 and since then, they were honed and perfected through 1:1 sessions with myself and other Jack Petchey finalists." Ms Wilson also offered a big shoutout to Haja, our new Head Girl, who is a past Jack Petchey finalist and went to the meetings to help students perfect their speeches. It was a process to get the speeches up to scratch.

We asked Milla and Amber, the students that were chosen for the final, about their personal experience with developing their speeches. Milla said, "The process was made easy so that you could build your speech up over time and I received lots of feedback from everyone that was involved and they helped tackle my weaknesses.’ Amber told us that, "Finding an initial idea of my speech was quite hard," since there were many different subjects she could choose from. However, "Having Ms Wilson and Haja, who both had key roles in helping me develop my speech, allowed me to become confident.’

We then travelled to Chestnut Grove Academy for the final with many different school’s present. I was a previous participant in the challenge and was honoured in being asked to judge on the panel. Judging the competition was honestly a blessing. It was a very exciting experience being able to watch so many different speeches with different viewpoints and arguments. Amber said, "The atmosphere at the final was really welcoming and everyone was very supportive, with Bolingbroke's fans shouting and whooping the loudest."

There were lots of engaging and personal topics that the different speeches covered ranging from, "Climate change to Racism, to football and music." Our own Bolingbroke students spoke about climate change and sexism in sport. Amber performed a speech titled: “I Don’t Care” and spoke on the media’s presentation of climate change, recounting that she felt very fearful performing but by the end, ‘I had an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement that despite a few slip ups and loss of words I was very proud of myself.’

Milla performed a speech titled: “Am I Girly Enough For You?” where she discussed her own experience with sexism in sport and it’s impact. Brilliantly, she won third place; congratulations, Milla! She said that, "I felt surprised, but proud of myself and honestly felt like it should have been anyone, but me.’

Both of the speeches were very informative and creatively presented. And overall, for everyone involved, the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge is a very joyous and supportive atmosphere that continually inspires the young people of England. In fact, once you reach Year 10, anyone in Bolingbroke can participate! So here are some tips from the experts themselves about approaching the Jack Petchey challenge.

Ms Wilson says to, "Be proud and passionate of your view," and additionally, "be open to others’ views."

Amber says, ‘To not let any fear about public speaking stop you from just trying it.’

Our third place winner, Milla, advises, ‘Believe in your speech and even if you don't feel confident, pretend that you are and know that everyone feels exactly the same.’

And finally, I would say that nothing is more exciting and invigorating than being able to spread a message YOU care about. Savour every second and work your hardest!

Once again, congratulations to Milla! I hope that readers feel inspired to speak out and potentially take part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge, and as Ms Wilson says: ‘One day BBA will win!’

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