Inspiring speech leads to big win
A Tokoroa teen has taken out a national title after inspiring people with words during the National Lions Speech Competition.
Tokoroa High School year 12 student Sean Millward who won the national young speech maker contest which was held in Welington recently.
Millward, who was the youngest person ever to win the competition, received a six week all-expenses paid for trip to the US and Canada in November.
Spending money and accommodation is also included in the package but Millward said he’d be staying with a host family for the majority of the trip.
‘‘It’s still pretty shocking,’’ said Millward of the win.
‘‘I’ve not fully processing that I’m going to America.’’
As part of his prize Millward will speak to people in America about youth in New Zealand and political and global issues effecting youth.
As part of the speech process Millward attended the regional competitions in Cambridge and Hamilton before going to Wellington to compete at nationals.
Millward said that listening to other competitor’s speeches was daunting but said he was reasonably confident with what he had practiced.
When practicing his speech Millward said he spent every interval and lunch time with his tutor Keinan Ngapo who coached him with his impromptu.
‘‘He spent a tremendous amount of time on this,’’ said Ngapo.
He said Millward had the determination and motivation to strive for the best and he did it.
‘‘As a coach there is nothing better, I am so proud.’’
Ngapo said no one from the Waikato region has yet won this competition and it goes to Show Tokoroa can achieve big things.
It is the biiggest speech competition available to student’s year 11 to 13 and the best two speakers from each region progressing to nationals.
Millward said that more students should take part as there are many opportunities to come from them.
‘‘More kids should get involved with it because the friends that you make at these competitions are all quirky and weird and different,’’ he said.
‘‘It just starts with self-belief and once your there you just move forward.’’