Our National Winner for the 2012 Public Speaking Competition is Sidharth DEEPCHAND of College du St Esprit.

Sidharth impressed the jury panel with his speech “Get moving, Accept the Challenge” in line with this year’s National theme “The wisdom of youth”.  He will represent ESU-Mauritius at the International Public Speaking Competition to be held at HSBC Headquarters in Canary wharf, in London, from 14th to 18th May 2012.

The runner-up was Yuri Mulleegadoo of Royal College Port Louis.

Members of our jury panel were: H.E. Mr Nick Leake, British High Commissioner, Ms Dawn Long, Director of the British Council, and Mr Steve Parish, Head of Human Resources of HSBC Mauritius.  Mr Parish said: “I was impressed by both the enthusiasm shown by the students and the high degree of literacy they demonstrated.  The topics chosen were very interesting.  I wish to convey my appreciation to the ESU for creating such an opportunity for the young people of Mauritius.  I hope that the students will keep us the good work”

ESU brought a major change to the competition this year.  At the semi-finals, the participants were asked to deliver an impromptu speech from a list of three topics given to them fifteen minutes in advance.  Prior to the semi-finals, ESU organized a workshop on public speaking skills so as to improve the participants’ speaking skills and enhance their overall performance.  Nine participants, including the winner for Rodrigues’ competition, reached the Finals.

The theme for the International Public Speaking Competition is “The Head or the Heart”.  Sidharth will have to compete against National winners of some 45 countries.  He, along with the other participants, will receive training from experts, gain skills to hone their communications skills and have the opportunity to visit some of the beautiful venues in London, including Hampton Court Palace and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

ESU would like to thank HSBC for sponsoring the Public Speaking Competition, British Council for offering prizes to all Finalists in Mauritius and to all participants in Rodrigues, and Air Mauritius for offering a rebate on the air ticket to London.

Our appreciation to Mr Troy Fitrell, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy and to Mr C Bhugun, Ag Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Arts & Culture for their presence.

Last, but not least, thank you to Mr Sanjit Teelock, our Master of ceremony, all members of the juries for the heats, semi-finals and finals, the host schools, participating schools and all participants.

You have all contributed to making this annual event such a successful event!