Taya Harding competed in the Lions Youth of the Year state final competition on Saturday, April 7.
While Taya was not selected to compete at the nationals, held in Townsville, Kingston Lions Club president Yvonne Emery said how pleased she and the Lions were with what she had achieved.
“Taya has done an excellent job over the last few weeks to attain this level,” Yvonne said. “The Kingston Lions Club is very proud of her achievements.”
The state final was held at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills.
A crowd of 100 people attended the event. Taya’s parents and Robe Lions Club members also attended, showing their support to the Kingston entrant.
Taya is the second student from Kingston to make it to the state finals, as Tahlia Troeth made it to the national final last year. Tahlia was a guest speaker at the state competition.
Tahlia spoke about the trip to New Zealand she received after winning at state level where she attended a Lions International Youth Camp, followed by a trip to Cairns. These two trips have been very beneficial and rewarding for Tahlia, and she mentioned that she had made a number of friends along the way.
At the state final, Taya spoke for two minutes in response to each impromptu question that she was asked.
These questions were:
“Many community volunteer groups are struggling to recruit new members. How do you see the younger people engaging in the community?”
“Do you think public transport would be better without seats?”
Answers varied from each entrant, some answers were even amusing. When asked about the no seats on public transport one competitor answered with:
“How would the bus driver drive the bus without a seat?”
Taya and the other competitors came with a prepared speech which they read for five minutes. Each entrant had a different and interesting topic to talk about and it showed that they had done a lot of research, making the speeches fascinating to listen to.
Yvonne said it was a rewarding experience to listen to not just Taya, but the other competitors as well.
“It is very rewarding to hear our young students talk,” she said. “The students gain a lot of confidence and are able to come out of their comfort zone, and be able to talk in front of a large audience.”