The clearest voices with the best structured speeches won out at the Rotary Club of Balclutha year 7 and year 8 speech competition at South Otago High School last week.

More than 30 pupils competed in the annual junior public speaking event, which has been organised by Balclutha Rotary since 1975.

The environmental impact of electric cars was a popular topic, one Clutha Valley Primary School’s Eva Hunter organised into a simple linear story which she offered loud and clear to win the year 7 field.

Clinton School’s Rehansa Karunartne was the winner for year 8 as she paced her clear articulation through a roundup on why reciprocity made respect ‘‘the most important value society needs today’’.

Social media, sports and school holidays were also among the topics, and the speakers were marked on research and structure along with the presentation and entertainment value of their speeches.

‘‘The purpose of the event is to make students feel more confident with public speaking and voicing their thoughts and opinions,’’ Balclutha Rotary’s Donna Buxton said.

‘‘This aligns with Rotary’s seven areas of focus, one of which is basic education and literacy.

‘‘These are valuable skills. Each year there is a high standard from the local schools and we see various students gaining in self-confidence and personal growth though public speaking.’’