Ballymena students compete for the experience of a lifetime

Rachel McNabb


Rachel McNabb

ONE of Rotary Ireland’s longest running projects, the Youth Leadership Development Competition , has seen the regional finals take place in Ballymena.

Students from the region battled it out for a place amongst the final 24 from across Ireland who will be sent on the trip of a lifetime where the EU offices in Dublin host a special reception for them, then they visit three parliaments; Stormont, Dáil Éireann and the EU Parliament in Strasbourg in February 2020 where they will compete in a debating style event with young people from across Europe.

The annual competition is organised by Rotary clubs all over Ireland offering students the opportunity to develop their debating and leadership skill.

The three finalists impressed the judges with their leadership qualities, confidence, knowledge of their subjects and desire to win.

Speaking at the event in the Adair Arms in Ballymena, William McKean, of the Rotary Club of Ballymena said: 'We have been delighted with the five-star quality and calibre of the finalists and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them and everyone who took part. The local schools have once again embraced the competition wholeheartedly and the candidates which came through the internal school interview selection process represented their schools with great distinction.

“We look forward to working with these students towards their trip in February 2020 and to see how they develop as future leaders in their chosen fields.”

The next stage of the Rotary YLC will take place in February 2020 and will see 24 winners from across Ireland visit the two Irish parliaments; Belfast and Dublin, where they will meet with local politicians and business leaders. They will then travel to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to take part in the Euroscola in a five-day round trip accompanied by Rotarian volunteers.

Euroscola offers the winners an immersive experience in the Chamber of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, allowing them to learn about European integration by experiencing it first-hand. Students from the 28 EU Member States get the chance to take over the European Parliament in Strasbourg for a full day of debating topical issues and current affairs.

For more details on the Youth Leadership Development Competition and about joining Rotary visit

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