The Perse School

Perse perform at Youth Speaks National Final

11 May 2016

Report by Kirill Nezhentsev, Year 9

On Friday 6 May Kilian Meissner, Archie Bowman and I, accompanied by Mr Green, began our five hour journey to Blackpool for the Rotary Youth Speaks National Final. What promised to be a tedious and arduous train ride was, surprisingly, very eventful.

On arrival, we proceeded to our hotel. I am sure Archie and Kilian would both agree that by any standards this was a very enjoyable stay, with the food, service and accommodation all being excellent. The “all you can eat” buffet was particularly brilliant!

The next day began early, with all of us ready at 7 in the morning. Having eaten breakfast we caught the train to Kirkham. The actual Youth Speaks final began at 13:00. It was very stressful for the team as we were to perform second last. However it did give us time to size up the competition which was very stiff.

My personal opinion is that we performed very well. All the team agreed that the way we did it in the final was better not only than our presentations in the District and Regional rounds but also than all of our rehearsals. It must be said that we were all very confident and  – privately – I was convinced that we had secured at the very least third place. This appeared to be a view shared by a significant proportion of the audience, with as many as fifteen individuals giving us their congratulations. It therefore came as a surprise and blow to us when we did not even come in the top three. As we walked out of the hosting grammar school we were subjected to a first-hand experience of pathetic fallacy, with the warm summer’s day transforming instantly into grey skies and cold, mournful rain. It was the saddest hour of the entire trip.

As we began the journey home we were all very dejected but once again the British railway system succeeded in cheering us up once we arrived at Leicester station. There, joined by jubilant fans, we were reminded in prolonged song that a certain football club had just won the Premier League.

Despite the final result we very much enjoyed the two day trip. My thanks go to Kilian and Archie for their respective roles of Chair and Vote of thanks in our presentation and to all those who helped us rehearse and gave us advice. They also go to Mr Cross for authorising the trip. However the person to whom we are most grateful is Mr Green. Without the help of those individuals we would not have got to the finals and would not have had such an enjoyable trip.




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