DOZENS of adults attending a Rotary Club event were given a good talking to on Monday evening.

The first round of the annual Youth Speaks competition, organised by Andover Rotary Club and hosted by Rookwood School, provided a platform for budding orators to amuse and inform their audience.

Intermediate and senior teams from Test Valley, Harrow Way, John Hanson, Rookwood and Winton schools, as well as event newcomers The Wellington Academy, competed to go through to the next round of the annual national public speaking competition.

Former Andover Advertiser editor Joe Scicluna, who chaired the panel of adjudicators, said: “As usual the presentations explored some entertaining and thoughtprovoking areas, with subjects ranging from Homework, What Does Britain stand For and Value Today?, Sink or Swim, Is Nuclear Power Safe?, Banning the Use of Animals for Entertainment and How Teenagers are Demonised in the Media.

“John Hanson’s Intermediate team speaker Adam Large delighted the audience with an examination of British traits and traditions, including the weather, our willingness to queue and our attitude to learning foreign languages.

“Without any reference to notes, he pointed out that while British food may be regarded as lacking a certain sophistication, a Sunday roast would always get his taste buds watering.

“And Britain’s contribution to sport had seen the export of cricket to India, rugby to the southern hemisphere and football to the world.”

In the senior section, Cassie Rist asked Women: How Do You Like Yours? Her examination of the lot of women and the analysis of feminism produced a thoughtprovoking conclusion seeking an integrated society with no glass ceilings and where putting career in front of family did not have to be viewed as a bad thing.

Joe’s fellow adjudicators were the Mayor of Test Valley Councillor Dorothy Baverstock and Mrs Vera Hughes of Chester House Productions.