Students from across Cornwall took to the podium last week for the district finals of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition in this area.

This took place at Helston Community College and involved senior teams from Helston Community College, Mullion School, Truro School and Fowey Community School. A team from Falmouth School had been due to take part, but was forced to withdraw at the last minute due to illness.

A team from Truro School came first, speaking on “What causes comedy to offend?” The matter was discussed by speaker Tristan Latarche, with support from chair Chris Lightfoot and proposer Jack Harvey.

Helston Community College came second, after debating the subject “Happily ever after.”

Speaker Rosa Higgs discussed whether fairytales gave a warped view of life and was backed up by chair Holly Bardell and proposer Milly Hayton.

In third place was Truro School’s other team, who spoke on “Are teachers undervalued in today’s society?”

Speaker was Connor Donnithorne, with chair Chris Smith and proposer Oliver Holdsworth.

These three teams will now go through to the regional finals.

Mullion School’s team was also suffering from illness but managed to find a replacement team member. They spoke on the topic “Don’t get me started on...” that revolved around the food, with Phoebe Jordan as speaker, Ivan Blight-Ander as chair and Tegan Glasgow as proposer.

Fowey Community School discussed cyber-bullying. Falmouth School had been due to talk on the topic “Mac attack!” with Emily Chiplin as speaker, Matt Galetti as chair and Will Harding as proposer.

The judges were retired primary school Vanessa Carpenter who has organised youth speaks for many years, BF Adventure chief executive officer Adrian Richards and Emma Ferguson, news editor at the Packet.

An intermediate competition also took place at the same time.