This competition was established jointly in 1981 by Soroptimist President, Republic of Ireland, Mildred O’Brien, and Soroptimist President, Northern Ireland, Marie Brownlee. Our Club has been directly involved in the Competition since 1995. It is open to girls only. The age of contestants in the Public Speaking Competition for girls includes all pupils in the Senior Cycle of 2nd Level Eductation (AGM 2007). The competition for local schools in the North Kildare area is held in January every year.
The aims of the competition are:
1. To encourage girls to play a more prominent part in public life.
2. To improve the art of communication.
3. To encourage girls to develop the skills to speak effectively and to articulate with clarity
4. To develop self-confidence and personality.
The topics specified for the competitors’ talks are based on the programme areas of soroptimism: education; environment; economic and social development; health; human rights and the status of women; international goodwill and understanding.
Support from teachers, parents and fellow students is vital for the success of this annual project. The National Organisation enjoys sponsorship from the corporate sector to help promote the competition.
The winners, from North and South, are awarded prizes of Soroptimist Educational Bursaries and are invited to address the Soroptimist Annual North/South Conference on their chosen topic.
European Parliament, Strasbourg
As part of the prize, some years, the finalists are awarded a trip to Strasbourg or Brussels, compliments of the European Parliament. Some years the students are given the opportunity to attend the Euroscola Programme which are held in the European Parliament building ‘Louise Weiss’ (IPE1V).
Eleven countries participate in the Programme and a representative from all the countries are given the opportunity to speak on the topics.
In 1996, the Kildare Hotel and Country Club presented SI North Kildare with a perpetual trophy which is presented to the winning school in the North Kildare area each year. The slideshow below shows some of our past winners.