Local youngsters excel in Lions Youth of the Year competition

TRIUMPH: Muswellbrook Lions 1st vice-president Rod Upton with regional winner Imogen O’Leary.

TRIUMPH: Muswellbrook Lions 1st vice-president Rod Upton with regional winner Imogen O’Leary.

MUSWELLBROOK High School’s Imogen O’Leary is making a mark in the Lions Youth of the Year competition.

The local student, who was named the overall regional winner, will now contest the district judging at Long Jetty on March 25.

Miss O’Leary finished runner-up at Muswellbrook club level, but excelled at the next stage.

The Lions Youth of the Year competition is the premier youth event hosted by the organisation.

It is aimed at all young people who seek to improve their skills before entering the workforce or other endeavours. 

It’s also designed to encourage, foster and develop leadership in conjunction with other citizenship qualities in our youth, at the age when they are about to enter the fields of employment or higher education.

The qualities sought, apart from academic attainments, are those of leadership, personality, sportsmanship, public speaking and good citizenship. 

The students meet in fellowship and have the opportunity of open discussion, exchange of ideas and meet professional people of a community service club organisation.

Youth of the Year encourages pupil interest in leadership and the qualities required to take an active and constructive role in the community. 

By emphasising these traits it hopes to provide outstanding role models for the youth of Australia and an overall increase in the confidence of young men and women.

To date, there have been three levels of judging in the competition, with the regionals taking place at the Muswellbrook and District Workers Club last Sunday.

There were six contestants, two representing Dunedoo Lions Club (both from Dunedoo Central School), two from Denman Lions Club (both from Muswellbrook High School) and two from Muswellbrook Lions Club (one from Muswellbrook High School and another from St Joseph’s at Aberdeen).

Lauren Sullivan and Connor Fergusson (Dunedoo Lions), Lara Collins and Blake Shackleton (Denman Lions) and Miss O’Leary and James Drayton (Muswellbrook Lions) attended an interview in the morning with judges Dr Wendy Brooks, Wendy Rozzoli and Matt Jeans. 

During the process, they covered a number of issues that were in the news as well as discussing their interests.

Attendees at the public speaking judging were entertained by the six students who spoke about modern medicine and trends, overcoming adversity, the pride within the pain, ethanol as an alternative to petroleum, importance of dreams and passions, and a note on nasty women. 

The judges were then required to identify the winner of the section, as well as overall.

In the end, there were only 2.5 points between them. 

Mr Drayton, who attends St Joseph’s High School at Aberdeen, was announced as the public speaking winner.

He entertained everyone on the subject, what to eat and what not to eat if you want a long life. 

He was also the winner at club level.

REGIONAL LEVEL: Contestants James Drayton, Blake Shackleton, Lauren Sullivan, Connor Fergusson, Imogen O’Leary and Lara Collins.

REGIONAL LEVEL: Contestants James Drayton, Blake Shackleton, Lauren Sullivan, Connor Fergusson, Imogen O’Leary and Lara Collins.

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