Two learners from Simon’s Town School recently returned from a trip to Singapore after being trained in public speaking and debate. The plan is for them to pilot the extramural activity at their school and to encourage other learners to participate.Cherise Lamb (16) and Sandiswa Goba (18) are in Grades 10 and 12, respectively. Both are taking on nine subjects at school, which include maritime nautical sciences and marine sciences.They have been described as being quite outgoing. Recognising this shared quality, the Africa Future Leaders Hub nominated the pair to train under the wing of renowned speaker Dr Ernest Chan in Singapore.On their return from Singapore in mid-August, Cherise and Sandiswa were better equipped to take ownership of the public speech and debate club at the school and to lead it in the right direction. Sandiswa, who has been actively debating since Grade 7, explains: “This was a good space for us to start facilitating a new culture of public speaking because I love the interaction it offers between the people around you and the environment around you.”He adds: “We were trained by one of the world’s greatest public speakers. He imparted his knowledge on us. We obtained a qualification that says we are able to train other people in the broader spectrum of public speaking.”Despite the challenges that Grade 10 presents, Cherise is excited to launch the new club at the school and to put their knowledge to good use.“Our main goal was to get our training. We’re hoping to begin (the club) next term. We want to start as soon as possible because we see the learners have potential. “They have a good understanding of topics but they don’t know how to present the information,” she says, adding that, through their public speaking training, they can help struggling learners to build confidence and to improve their articulation.Next year, she hopes to further develop the club. Sandiswa wants to pursue a career in maritime law – an option that caught his eye even more since honing his public speaking skills.Jean Human, the principal at the school, says she is proud of the learners’ accomplishments. She hopes the training they have received will also empower other students to take on life after school.