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Bishop Challoner wins Jack Petchey regional ‘Speak Out’ schools challenge

PUBLISHED: 16:56 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:56 21 February 2014

Callum Thomas wins 'Speak Out Challenge' local heat

Callum Thomas wins 'Speak Out Challenge' local heat

Tony Preece

Callum Thomas may have a future in public speaking after winning the Regional Final of this year’s ‘Speak Out’ Challenge competition for schools.

He took top spot at the local heat in London’s East End when he gave his rousing speech at the annual Jack Petchey Foundation contest.

Callum impressed the judges with his speech about television and obesity, fighting off the challenge from 14 competitors.

“I can’t believe it!” he said after winning. “I can’t wait to do it again.”

The fourth-year student at Stepney’s Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary was up against youngsters from nine other Tower Hamlets schools in the contest that has so far involved 273 Year-10 pupils, who all received a full day of training in public speaking.

He won a £100 gift certificate and a chance to go through to the Grand Final on July 14.

The judging panel included Tower Hamlets Deputy Young Mayor Sonia Begum as well as representatives of the local educational authoriy, buisnesses, YMCA and Met Police Youth Engagement.

Second place in the local heat held at Bow School went to Manthaka Doha from Stepney’s Sir John Cass Foundation with her speech on ability to inspire. Third place went to Mohammed Islam from Stepney Green Maths College on misconception of Jihad.

The ‘Speak Out’ Challenge now in its eighth year is the biggest public speaking event of its kind in the world, with 18,000 Year-10 students expected to compete in 2014 for £15,000 in prizes.

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