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Competition win for school team

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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PUPILS from a school near Ashbourne have been chosen to represent the region in a Young Farmers Club (YFC) speaking competition.

Abbotsholme junior readers Rachel Ekstein, 14, Ollie Rhodes, 13, and Henry Brotherton-Cottrell, 11, won their competitions and will go forward to represent Staffordshire at East Midlands areas.

The intermediate team comprising of Max Bettson-Burdett, Harriet Chiles, Alice Liddle and Reuben Wilderspin, - all in the Sixth Form at Abbotsholme - came third.

They were a young team as this is open to Young Farmer members up to the age of 21; the school’s oldest team member was 17.

They had to debate some current topics which they were only given 15 minutes before the competition.

The Junior speaking team which included Max Bettson-Burdett, Jade Witcomb and Dominique Wilcox, all from Staffordshire, did really well in a strong class but unfortunately didn’t get placed.

However Max Bettson-Burdett was asked to represent Staffordshire at the West Midland areas competition due to his excellent speaking skills and speaking for six minutes without notes, which is an incredible achievement.

“I felt quite shocked when I found out that I was picked, because I did not think I could do it because of my dyslexia.

“I am optimistic about the competition and speaking again, and looking forward to it.”

Toby Hall was named junior member of the year.

Toby is only 13 and was up against people aged 17 years old.

Christina Liddle, head of rural estates and education, and YFC staff member said, “I am just really proud of them all; it is a fantastic achievement.

“Abbotsholme YFC is only one year old and the newest – and 10th- branch of Staffordshire YFC, and they all put so much effort and time into the club; it is really great to see them rewarded with these fantastic results.”

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