KZN pupils come out as kings and queens of road safety debate

2012-10-16 00:00

FIVE KwaZulu-Natal pupils held their own and came out victorious at the National Road Safety Schooling Debate Competition held in Cape Town last week.

This national programme is aimed at high school pupils and is meant to empower them with road safety knowledge as they research road safety topics.

Two of the pupils, Annalisa Chetty and Kaylin Samlaal are in Grade 11 at Heather Secondary School in Northdale, and the others are from Verulam, Vryheid and Estcourt.

They each won laptops, tablets and R5 000 vouchers and will be receiving even more prizes.

Speaking to The Witness about the competition, a proud Annalisa said: “We thought it would be a good experience and we wanted to make our school proud.”

Although the school doesn’t have a debating team, finding the right candidates wasn’t a problem.

Dawn Naidoo, an English teacher at the school, chose five pupils from her English class.

They represented the school at the district level of the competition, which they won, and then competed provincially and also won there.

After that, the five best speakers in KwaZulu-Natal were chosen, including Annalisa and Kaylin.

Making the KwaZulu-Natal team was a huge achievement for them.

The pupils had to learn everything about road safety, which was the topic of debate.

The team did a lot of research and had many sleepless nights preparing for the debate.

There were six other provinces competing for the title.

While Kaylin described the competition as “beautiful”, he admitted it wasn’t a smooth ride to the finish.

In the first round the team lost to Limpopo.

“And they don’t even have textbooks,” joked Kaylin.

But they got a chance to redeem themselves when they went up against the team again.

“We went again and beat them. We showed them what we are made of.”

Something that both Annalisa and Kaylin have in common is that they are not afraid to speak in front of a large crowd. This is what made them the perfect candidates.

Annalisa believes in expressing herself.

“If you have something to say, you must say it. Confidence comes with embracing who you are,” she said matter-of-factly.

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