Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has praised students who took part in last week’s Ian Gow Cup public speaking competition.
Year 9 pupils from the town’s secondary schools – Gildredge House, Ratton, Causeway, Willingdon and St Catherine’s College all took part in the second year of the cup in memory of the town’s MP Ian Gow, who was murdered by the IRA in 1990.
Gildredge House came out the winners for the second time in a hard fought battle at the Winter Garden on Thursday with all teams talking about 'freedom and democracy, why this is as important today as it has ever been'.
“It was a great evening full of superb public speaking from everyone and it was fabulous to see the competition go from strength-to-strength with such wonderful and inspiring public speaking from these young people,” said Caroline.
“A nice touch was seeing last year’s competitors in the audience supporting their school teams, so it was a super atmosphere and thanks must go to everyone who organised and attended the event and, of course, to Gildredge House for their victory.
“Other great news is that local solicitors Gaby Hardwicke has pledged to sponsor next year’s event and I thank them for their unstinting support.”
Judging was by Eastbourne Speakers Club and Ian’s Widow Dame Jane Whiteley, was Guest of Honour. She told the audience and competitors how proud and impressed Ian would have been by the event.
Teacher Laura Hughes from Ratton School added, “It was such a great opportunity for all the students involved and something I'm sure they will remember for a long time to come.”