By Angela Norval
The envy of many countries throughout the world, the Lions Youth of the Year competition has continued to grow since it began in Queensland in 1964.
The program was established to develop and hone participants’ skills in interview technique, personal interaction, networking, public speaking and thinking on their feet, and continues to be strongly supported by all Lions Districts, involving thousands of contestants each year.
Locally, the Hinkler Lions Youth of the Year competition has been an opportunity for St Luke’s Anglican School students Tahsin Ahmed, Lachlan Hocking and Bahli Ulrick to show they have the poise and personality to be fine ambassadors for the youth of today through their success in the competition.
St Luke’s Anglican School senior school English and humanities teacher Tori Hansel said it was a pleasure to see the students participate so strongly.
“These students completed an individual interview with three judges, answered two impromptu questions and completed a five-minute speech with Tahsin, Lachlan and Bahli all doing a wonderful job in each of these categories and were incredible ambassadors for the school,” she said.
“Tahsin won the public speaking section and was the overall winner for the Lions Youth of the Year Hinkler Division and Lachlan Hocking was the overall winner of the Bundaberg North Division.”
Tahsin and Lachlan will now go to the next stage of Lions Youth of the Year on 13 March.
“I was extremely proud of these three students,” Ms Hansel said.
Hinkler Lions Youth of the Year co-ordinator Gary Vary said the competition’s aim was to encourage personality development, confidence, self-expression, citizenship, and leadership in young people.
“The competition starts with a club – in our case, Hinkler – and then progresses to zone, district, state and then national, while the local zone has six Lions clubs who provide a winner to be judged on the 13 March in Bundaberg,” he said.
“The standard of competition is very high, with those competing often having to be clear in their answers when faced with unrehearsed questions and have opinions on topical matters,” he said.
“It is with pride that the Hinkler Lions club has been involved with the Youth of the Year for at least three decades and being able to support these local youth ambassadors.
“All the members continue to be in awe of the standard of presentation and public speaking of these students.
“Our judges were also very impressed with the students’ entries this year and commented on the amazing amount the entrants are able to fit into their lives with school, community and sport activities.”