Year 10 Bolingbroke student runner up in regional finals of speaking challenge
Year 10 Bolingbroke student Asal has scooped second place in a prestigious speaking competition, where she spoke out passionately about Islamaphobia.
The regional finals of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge, the world’s biggest youth speaking event, were held at neighbouring Ernest Bevin school in Tooting on March 18th, where a pre-final workshop was held for all the participants. Amal said this helped to allay her fears and “feel less anxious because most people were nervous”.
With 13 finalists in the line up, the speakers covered a diverse range of topics from family bereavement to climate change, feminism and hate, while Asal had chosen to speak about Islamaphobia.
“I picked Islamaphobia because my religion is so important and it hurts when people compare an extremist group to a normal Muslim,” she said.
Unfortunately, Asal was not the only speaker to have chosen this theme, but she didn’t let it get her down. “I felt quite annoyed, but proud too because I knew I had an amazing speech.”
Second to step up to the podium, Asal received a huge cheer from the crowd, not least from her peers and Bolingbroke staff who had come along to support her.
“Asal was amazing, she had bags of confidence,” said one Bolingbroke pupil. “It was an honour to see Asal represent Bolingbroke Academy with such energy and passion,” enthused another, while a third supporter praised Asal’s speech as “thoughtful and encouraging”.
Boingbroke is hoping to host next year’s regional final.