International Public Speaking Competition 2021

Dr. Sophia Gorgodze attended the final round of the International Public Speaking Competition and participated in judging  the participants together with other honorary jury members of the competition.

The international competition was organized by the English Speaking Union (ESU) bringing together young speakers aged 16 to 20 years. The event was attended by representatives of the competition supporting organizations, as well as the British Ambassador to Georgia – his excellency Mr. Mark Clayton and other guests from various diplomatic corps. Eight public speakers addressed the audience. This year’s topic was: “The best route to change engages all voices.”

The best three speeches were selected. Elen Basilashvili became the winner while Meri Gumushi was a runner-up and Elizaveth Metreveli got the third prize. The winner will take part in  an international grand finale organized online in London.

The first winner of the International Public Speaking Competition from Georgia became Dr. Sophia Gorgodze in 2002 and she was awarded by Prince Philip in Buckingham Palace. Dr. Gorgodze, who is now the head of the National Assessment and Examinations Center shared her personal experience with the contestants about the visit to the UK and awarding ceremony with representatives of the Royal Family.  She also recalled a chat with late Prince Phillip and talked  about importance of popularizing English Language and challenges that we have in terms of rural and urban gaps in language achievement.

Prince Philip and Dr. Sophia Gorgodze, award ceremony at Buckingham Palace

For nearly 100 years the English Speaking Union (ESU) has been promoting international friendship and understanding through the use of the English language. Initially based in London, it now has over 60 branches worldwide. As part of its work it runs many educational and cultural programmes. The ESU is a charity established by Royal Charter with Her Majesty the Queen as Patron. The former President of the ESU, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh (1957‑2012) was succeeded by HRH Princess Anne. Georgia joined the ESU in 1998 and held its official launch in 2000, with delegates from 41 countries attending the opening ceremony. The delegation was headed by Lord Watson of Richmond and Valerie Mitchell, Director-General of the ESU. ESU Georgia was founded by Marina Tsitsishvili, who had a distinguished career in establishing cultural links between Georgia and the UK.