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Caribbean nationals triumph at Oratorical Contest

Published:Sunday | April 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

The judges who presided over the Optimist International Caribbean District Oratorical Contest took more than the 30 minutes allotted to them to deliberate, expressing how tough it was to choose a winner.

However, when all was said and done, Adia Wynter of Antigua and Barbuda was the winner for the female section, while Reon King, from the same country, came out on top for the men. Wynter was declared the overall winner of the competition.

Maxine McDonnough, chief judge, in her report indicated that all 19 competitors raised the bar of public speaking as they discussed the topic 'What the World Gains from Optimism'. The under-18 competitors were mainly from Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados.

"These students are professionals in their own right. I have heard many professional speakers who have not delivered at this level. One of the things we were asked to look at was poise. We were all in agreement that we could find no fault with their poise. Each of them had their own style, but no less effective," she said at the event, which was held on Saturday at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Wynter noted that she was very surprised that she was announced the winner, but gave credit to her father who, she said, was there for her every step of the way.

"This plaque is really for my dad, because he was there ever since I needed someone to be there for me. I am extremely honoured to have this opportunity. A week before the competition, it was very vigorous, working on my pronunciations or my gestures," she said.

"This morning (Saturday) I was nervous. But I decided that now is my chance and I am going to give it my best shot."

King also said his aim was to do his very best.