Pupils are UK public speaking champions!

The Portadown College debating team have been crowned UK champions in the Business and Professional Women's Public Speaking Competition. The team won their title against stiff competition in Shropshire last week. Pictured from left are the team members, Katherine Whitten, Tim Neill and Alex Maxwell, school principal, Mr Simon Harper and Head of English, Mrs Gladys Montgomery. INPT14-201.
The Portadown College debating team have been crowned UK champions in the Business and Professional Women's Public Speaking Competition. The team won their title against stiff competition in Shropshire last week. Pictured from left are the team members, Katherine Whitten, Tim Neill and Alex Maxwell, school principal, Mr Simon Harper and Head of English, Mrs Gladys Montgomery. INPT14-201.

A team from Portadown College has triumphed at the UK final of a public speaking competition, bringing home a total of three trophies.

The winning members - speaker Katherine Whitten, expresser of thanks Alex Maxwell and chairman Tim Neill - beat finalists from England, Scotland and Wales.

The final, which was held in Shropshire, was the last leg of the competition organised by the Business and Professional Women (BPW) group,

The College team secured their place in February, when they won the Northern Ireland final, surpassing students from Coleraine Grammar, Victoria College Belfast and Ballymena Academy.

They took as their topic the right to freedom of conscience, with their presentation in support of Ashers Bakery.

As well as being awarded the Dalton Trophy for the wining team, Tim won the Northern Ireland Trophy for Best Chairman and Alex the Carillion Trophy for Best Expresser of Thanks.

Head of English Gladys Montgomery said, “This is an exceptional achievement and a fitting conclusion to another excellent year of competing, with students placed first or second in all competitions entered.”

Congratulating the team, Ulster Carpets managing director Nick Coburn said, “As sponsors of the NI BPW public speaking finals we would like to congratulate Portadown College as winners of the UK finals recently.

“Ulster Carpets seeks to play its part in as many community activities as possible and we are delighted the college has achieved an extremely high standard in public speaking and this is great credit to all involved.”