Victoria pupils speak out for the environment

Students from Victoria Primary School in Carrick have picked up a pair of ‘eco’ accolades in this year’s Environmental Youth Speak contest.

P7 pupils Lauren Swann and Harry Norton scored first and third place respectively in the local heats of the competition, hosted last week in Carrickfergus Town Hall.

Victoria Primary School pupils Harry Norton and Lauren Swann with their cerificates form the Environmental Youth Speak competition.  INCT 09-721-CON

Victoria Primary School pupils Harry Norton and Lauren Swann with their cerificates form the Environmental Youth Speak competition. INCT 09-721-CON

The competition has been running for over 17 years and is organised by the waste management groups arc21, North West Region WMG, and SWaMP2008.

It begins at council level, progresses to regional level and culminates in the crowning of two Northern Ireland champions.

Lauren will go on to represent the borough in the junior section at the grand final in Lisburn on March 10.

The theme for the event was ‘A day in the life of a waste superhero’, giving local children an opportunity to speak out about the impact our current lifestyle is having on the environment and the wider world.

The event saw each participant deliver a hand-prepared speech to a panel of judges, with some using costumes and props to get their message across.

Lauren’s entry saw her introduce a series of five environmental heroes including Claire Cleanup, Gemma Greenthumb, Roger Recycle, Water Watcher and Bright Spark.

Meanwhile, Harry donned a cape to become extraterrestrial superhero ‘Wasteman’ for the day.

Both pupils have already established their green credentials as members of Victoria’s after-school Eco Club, said P7 teacher and club co-ordinator Mrs Neilly.

“The idea behind their speeches was to show that we don’t need waste superheroes; we can do it all ourselves,” she added. “The competition was great experience for them.”