Arguing her way to the UK finals

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A YELVERTOFT girl’s confidence and warmth have won over the judges of a competition for public speaking.

Mary Hitchman, 17, took part in a regional contest on March 18 - and her success means she’s now in with a chance of winning a national award.

The Princethorpe College sixth-former spoke for four minutes on her chosen subject, Should all music be free to air?, arguing that it ought not to be.

It was chosen ahead of speeches from six other students for its “perceptive content and strength of argument”.

Mary said of her success: “I love being on stage and I think this came across as I was keen to engage the audience rather than simply speak at them.”

Princethorpe College’s head of sixth form Margaret Robinson said: “Mary is a very intelligent speaker. She manages to balance both warmth and precision in her argument and.”

Mary will now look forward to taking part in the national finals to be held in September. The competition is run by the Catenian Association, a Catholic organisation.