Winning debating team off to Iceland

Three Sandwick Junior High School pupils who won the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Big Green Challenge debating competition will take their prize winning trip to Iceland next week.

The trio, pupils Saibh Finlayson, Ceidiog Saxelby and Joe Christie, will travel together with their teachers, Donald Murray and Yvonne Malcolmson, to visit a number of renewable energy-related locations, including the famous Blue Lagoon, a naturally-heated lake and the Geysir region, famous for its spouting hot springs.

Debaters from across the Highlands and Islands took part in the competition, which was organised by HIE and focused on the issues surrounding ren­ewable energy. It was open to secondary pupils in first to third year.

Mr Murray said: “It’s a great tribute to the pupils that they have come so far in this comp­etition, both in terms of their public speaking and the research they carried out on renewable energy.

“We are all very excited about the trip to Iceland, which will be a fantastic reward for the effort they put in during the Big Green Challenge.”

Anna Allan, senior development manager with HIE’s energy team, who is accompanying the pupils, said: “The pupils from Sandwick showed a great deal of confidence and skill in con­structing their arguments, and were certainly very deserving winners.

“We chose this trip as the prize because Iceland’s rugged terrain and famous geysers will let pupils experience the power of renewables first-hand.

“Renewables are playing an increasingly important role in reducing carbon emissions and creating quality jobs, and we’re keen to make the people of the Highlands and Islands aware of the issues and opportunities that renewable energy presents.”

The trio attended a ceremony at the Town Hall on Friday where they were congratulated by con­vener Sandy Cluness, councillor Bill Manson and assistant chief executive Willie Shannon.


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