Praise for today’s students determined to make a success of their lives in times of austerity has come from Marlborough and District Rotary Club in the wake of its sponsorship of two annual club competitions.
One is for the Rotary Young Chef, where 14-year-old Pewsey Vale School pupil Amy Huggins has won the South of England district semi-finals and the other is Joyce Seabrook, 14, from Wellington Academy, Tidworth, who is competing in the national final for the Rotary Young Photographer competition.
Both are examples of Rotary helping young people in the community, the talents of the two girls admired by Gerry Hooper, who, as chairman of Marlborough Rotary’s community services committee, helped to organise the events.
“They really are the clever ones,” Mr Hooper, now retired from his electronics company, told Marlborough News Online. “They are an antidote to our trouble times.”
“Some of the pupils I’ve met are worried about the future, others are not. These competitions inspire them to succeed, now and in the future. Their enthusiasm is quite marvellous to see.”
Amy in particular took on six other contestants in the Young Chef semi-finals, held in Cirencester. Their challenge was to produce a three-course meal for two people costing no more than £15 – and with the accent on healthy eating – in two hours.
They then presented their meals to the three judges, top chefs from Gloucestershire, who, announcing Amy the winner, declared they were impressed by the high standard of preparation and presentation.
All seven pupils had previously won their own school competitions, Amy being encouraged by Brigid Sparke, who teaches food technology at Pewsey Vale School, and accompanied her to the event.
Joyce Seabrook was one of two pupils from Wellington Academy taking part in the Young Photographer competition – the school has never entered before – and has won through to the final of the intermediate section with photographs based on the theme of Peace.