Friday, May 20 2022

Thirty-two of Saskatchewan’s top young speakers competed in Middle Lake on April 9

MIDDLE LAKE — After going virtual in 2020, the provincial 4-H Public Speaking Competition was back in person, this time in Middle Lake bringing together the top 32 young speakers from across Saskatchewan.

Public speaking is a proud tradition in 4-H Saskatchewan that allows members to share a persuasive, informative or entertaining speech on a topic of their choice, thereby developing self-confidence and communication skills.

To qualify for the provincial competitions held on April 9, members of all age categories can participate in club, district and regional competitions each spring. Only by winning the regional championships can the competitor qualify for the provincial championships, which are held each April at a different location in the province.

Makenna Heidecker, emcee of the event, said as a former 4-H, it was an interesting opportunity to see the concepts and professionalism presented and how it evolves through the different age categories.

“Being in the 4-H program and public speaking in and of itself is extremely valuable because at its core, 4-H is a youth development program,” Heidecker said. “Presentation skills can help you show up in a group of 100 people or just have a conversation with more senior people, more mature people, go on job interviews, be better prepared and (and ) to be concise.”

Even outside of performing speeches, Heidecker said writing, practice and self-dedication are useful skills for young people to learn.

Adrian Byman, a member of the Tisdale 4-H beef club from Wadena, competed in the senior category, winning bronze with his ‘Change’ speech which focused on the impact of change in people’s lives.

“I know I have a hard time accepting change, especially since this year is my 12th year. There are a lot of changes that are involved and I will be moving soon which is hard to deal with,” Byman said.

“I focused on my family leaving and some of the famous people who are dealing with change and it’s not just ordinary people, it’s everyone. Everyone deals with change and you don’t have to feel bad about it.

In the Cloverbud category, seven-year-old Josie Riou of the Hanley Light Horse 4-H Club won gold with her speech “The Big Decision.” “The big decision” was whether she wanted to follow in her aunt’s footsteps as Miss Rodeo Canada or choose hockey.

“I spoke to my aunt, and she was Miss Rodeo Canada,” Riou said. “We asked her what it takes to be Miss Rodeo Canada, and we asked her what her favorite thing was: teaching the sport to people across Canada and the United States.

Ultimately, Riou said she decided she could be both.


1st place – Josie Riou – Hanley Light Horse 4-H Club – “The Big Decision”

2nd Place – Kate Hougham – Hillmond 4-H Club – “Snow Forts”

3rd Place – Brooke Quinton – Springside 4-H Beef Club – “Important Things About Calving Time”


1st Place – Kamilah Pineda – Redvers Wranglers Light Horse 4-H Club – “EnCanto”

2nd Place – Addison Pain – Medstead Multiple 4-H Club – “Best Trip Ever”

3rd Place – Maria Brons – West PA 4-H Beef Club – “Honey Bees”


1st Place – Amber Spray – Kelvington 4-H Beef Club – “The Rush”

2nd Place – Ava Loveridge – Goodeve Multiple 4-H Club – “Strange Words”

3rd Place – Kiersten Nienhus – Sask Valley Dairy 4-H Club – “Mental Health and You”


1st Place – Hunter Reid – Saskatoon 4-H Beef Club – “Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking”

2nd Place – Megan Kelly – Moosomin Multiple 4-H Club – “The GOO Family”

3rd Place – Adrian Byman – Tisdale 4-H Beef Club – “Change”

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