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Dalziel High School in Motherwell win COPFS schools public speaking competition

Dalziel High School in Motherwell have been crowned the winners of this year’s annual Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) schools public speaking competition.

Third-year students Lucy McIntyre and Clara Walker teamed up to win the prestigious contest after edging out teams from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow and Trinity High School in Renfrew in a keenly-contested final at Parliament House in Edinburgh last night (Wednesday, June 5). 

The topic for the final was: “Charity begins…” 

Each team was charged with outlining in their speeches what Scottish-based equalities charity they would establish, who for and why - and what does it aim to achieve and how.   

Tasked with the difficult job of judging this year’s competition were Crown Agent John Logue, Lisa Gillespie KC, Deputy Principal Crown Counsel, and Carol Burt-Wilson, founder and project manager of IAMME, the charity which aims to raise awareness of disability hate crime. 

And they were each hugely impressed by the quality of the speeches. 

But in the end, it was Dalziel High School who had the final say by coming out on top. 

Presenting the trophy to the winners, Mr Logue praised each school’s contribution to a hard-fought final. 

He said: “Very many congratulations to Lucy and Clara. 

“Dalziel High School have triumphed in the final but the standard of debate and presentation we have heard throughout the competition has been a real testament to the passion and skills of all those young people who took part. 

“It has been a pleasure to see pupils come together in the spirit of friendly competition to develop confidence in their public speaking skills and engage in spirited debate addressing important issues relating to charity. 

“Each of them has been a credit to their schools, their teachers and, above all, to themselves.” 

Lucy and Clara impressed their judges with their topic of a charity which would act as a champion for neurodiversity. 

Lucy said: “It feels amazing to have won, I really can’t believe it.” And Clara added: “We really performed as a team to get our arguments across. I am just so pleased.” 

The competition started in Glasgow in 2012 and expanded gradually throughout the country with the first national final taking place in 2015. The competition quickly became popular with pupils, teachers, and staff at COPFS. 

The competition represents part of the work done by Scotland’s prosecution service to improve understanding of equality and diversity issues.  

It is also part of the service’s strategy to reach out to communities and young people in Scotland and engage them in discussion and debate on prominent issues related to the work of COPFS.  

This year’s competition 98 Teams from 61 schools across Scotland.