Youth Speaks – Kyle Academy Sharpen Up – 14 January 2020
Kyle Academy’s accomplished young speakers chose a controversial topic on their visit to the Rotary Club of Ayr for a dummy run of their Youth Speaks debate. The team will compete in the forthcoming Rotary’s District Final, where they will have the full support of their school and of our Club.
Introducing her team with dramatic flair, Chair Beth Paterson promised a vigorous discussion not only of Prince Harry’s qualities as a person but also of the wider issues impacted by his decisions.
Speaking up for Prince Harry with pace and humour, proposer Murray Graham pointed to the Prince’s empathy with wounded servicemen, his great personal charm, his success in fundraising for a range of charities, his highly-rated visit to South Africa, his courageous marriage to Meghan Markle, and his successful effort to overcome the trauma resulting from his mother’s early death. He has said, “All I’ve ever wanted to do is make my mother proud.”
Opposing Murray’s praise for the Prince, Julie Dunne homed in on climate issues. Yes, Harry was quick to speak about the dangers of climate change, but even quicker to jump in a private jet to get to his next engagement. How hypocritical was that? The Prince was aware of the plight of emperor penguins as the sea ice melts, of Australian forest fires, of the flooding of UK towns and villages. But by his actions and decisions he showed he didn’t really care. In this he was wrong, selfish, inconsiderate.
The team expertly fielded questions from Rotarians, with Julie finally asking her audience individually to think of one thing each could do to help defend the planet against the looming dangers of climate change, and then to, “please do it”!