The 17th Qatar Open Youth Public Speaking Championship was concluded recently at Qatar Red Crescent Society. Organized by Qatar Toastmasters Club, Qatar Open is a nationwide public speaking contest which is open to all high school students aged between 13 and 18 years who are resident in Qatar. Around 100 students from 15 nationalities entered the contest representing 14 schools. Young orators from all over Qatar showcased their exceptional public speaking skills before a packed auditorium of over 125 guests. Qatar Toastmasters Club President TM Rukhsana Khan officially opened the event and welcomed the audience which included Chief Guest Mohammed Al-Hayder, founder of Takallam for Training and Development, and Guest of Honour, Past International Director of Toastmasters International, George Thomas, DTM who started the Qatar Open back in 1997 under the name Inter School Speech Contest. The Contest Chair and Chief Coordinator of Qatar Open 2014 Virendranath, DTM explained the rules of the contest, a unique community initiative aimed at supporting the pillars of human development and social development under Qatar National Vision 2030.
Qatar Toastmasters Club is affiliated to Toastmasters International, the leading US-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating effective leaders and communicators worldwide. The club meets on the first and third Sunday evening every month at Radisson Blu Hotel. The Toastmasters mission is to empower people to find the courage to change, achieve their full potential, and ultimately share in the mission of contributing to the betterment of society.
The enthralled audience watched the ten finalists battle for the title “Qatar Open Youth Public Speaking Champion 2014”. The talented group comprised Aashiya Anitha, Aisha Khan, Akaash Nidhiss, Andrea Nicoles, Kevin Richardt, Rohit Chari, Shwetha Grace Eapen, Sparsh Garg, Sneha Karthik and Tarab Iqbal. Each had succeeded against tough competition in the preliminary round and semi-finals held at Birla Public School during October.
Dignitaries present also included Division Q Governor TM Shyam Sunder, Division E Governor TM Nasimudheen and Area 18 Governor TM Shajil Kader. Chief Guest Al-Hayder, delivered a motivating address to the budding speakers on the importance of adding value when speaking and how true victory is about winning hearts.
The panel of judges comprised seasoned toastmasters from various clubs across Qatar. Judging was based on content, delivery and language.
All ten finalists delivered exceptional speeches. The reigning champion Aditya Karkera announced this year’s winner Shwetha Grace Eapen, whose winning speech “The Little Extra” was also the audience’s top pick.
On being declared the Qatar Open Champion Shwetha said “It’s a dream come true. I stand at the top of the hill and the view is certainly the best. I am reminded of Napoleon Hill who once said “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits”. I now look for my next summit.” Shweta is a student at Birla Public School. She received the Champion’s trophy, QR 5000 first place cash prize and a winner’s certificate.
The second place winner Kevin Richardt, a student of Philippine School Doha, received the second place winner’s trophy, QR 3000 cash prize and a winner’s certificate.
The third place winner Aashiya Anitha, a student of Birla Public School, received the third place winner’s trophy, QR1000 cash prize and a certificate.
Each of the remaining 7 finalists received a QR500 cash prize and participation certificate.
The organizers presented mementos to the Bronze Sponsors Intertec Group, Castle Group, Mannai Corporation and Applus+ Velosi, and the Support Sponsors Qatar Kentz, Tanween, Qatar-UAE Exchange, Oryx Energy Projects & Services, Jumbo Electronics, Almuftah Trading & Contracting and Teyseer Group.
The Qatar Open Chairperson for 2015 TM Nevine Kamel revealed that the 2015 edition will begin around April 2015. In closing, the Club President Rukhsana Khan promised the attendees an even more exciting Qatar Open next year. More details will be available on the club’s website www.qatartoastmasters.org