Friday 21st May 2010: 80 students from 46 countries gathered to compete in the ESU’s 29th annual IPSC

The ESU’s International Public Speaking Competition started 29 years ago in England and has now spread to 40,000 young people in 46 countries.

On Friday 21 May, 80 participants from those 46 countries took part in this competition held at the HSBC Headquarters, Canary Wharf, London, hoping to be the one to raise the trophy high and to be declared the international winner of the ESU’s public speaking competition.

This year, the competition was won by Moataz Elisrawi of Lebanon The Representative for Mauritius, young Advik Goorah from College du St Esprit was amongst the 6 finalists and he delivered a fantastic speech entitled “ Designer Babies: From Homo Sapiens to Homo Futurus”, in line with this year’s theme : “Speculation on Our Future”. Although he did not actually win the competition, young Advik who is only 17 years old proved that Mauritius has once again put forward an excellent participant in the art of public eloquence. Last year, Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong, representing Mauritius, won the first prize, the very first time a Mauritian won such a high profile competition.

The appeal of the competition is the opportunity it gives to young people all over the world to practice and improve their skills in public speaking and communication. The growing acknowledgement of the importance of English is not only a communication tool but also a development tool. Participants are given the opportunity to develop their language skills, thus increasing their employment opportunities and enabling them to participate more effectively in economic and social activities which will contribute to one’s long-term development.

The ESU’s International Public Speaking Competition is helping young people all over the world to realise their potential by increasing their communication skills in English, by empowering them to give their opinions with confidence and by connecting them to a network of alumni from across the globe from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. English is the language of the internet, of international business, of negotiation, of sport, music and science; the skills this competition gives young people in the persuasive use of English opens doors to untold possibilities and prepares them to become the next leaders of their countries.

Moataz Elisrawi of Lebanon, winner of this year’s competition, will travel to Buckingham Palace in November to accept his award from HRH Prince Phillip, President of the ESU. The competition is supported by HSBC’s Global Education Trust.

In Mauritius, the ESU has witnessed a steady increase in the number of students who have participated in the Public Speaking Competition since its inception in 1994. This year, a total number of 102 students competed as opposed to 55 students for the year 2009. The ESU would like to think that the growing participation of students demonstrates that all the actors of the educational field acknowledge the educational value underlying the activities of the ESU. This year, the Public Speaking Competition was held in Mauritius between January and March 2010 and was generously sponsored by HSBC Mauritius.

For further details, please contact
Anne-Marie Ahkine, Executive Assistant, The English-Speaking Union, Tel: 208 8591 – Email: esumau@intnet.mu