The 2019“Shamrock Cup” English Speech Competition for Shanghai High School Students kicked off on the afternoon of March 20. It was around the time for St. Patrick’s Day and Mr. Joe McHugh, Irish Minister for Education and Skills, was visiting China and attended the opening ceremony. The Shamrock Cup is jointly sponsored by International Education Association Shanghai and Consulate General of Ireland in Shanghai and has been held for the sixth year. The site for the event has been moved to Putuo District.
IEAS Chairman Jiang Haishan spoke on behalf of the Chinese sponsor. He looked back into the past five years of the event, which involved student participants from 89 high schools in Huangpu, Jing’an, Changning, Pudong and Yangpu, with 2,000 student audiences. At the same time Jiang appreciated the cooperation with Consulate General of Ireland in Shanghai over the years. This year, the competition will include competitors from junior high as well and he looked forward to seeing them showcase themselves together with the seniors.
Director Fan Yigang of Putuo Education Bureau said in his speech that shamrock as Ireland’s national flower has strong vitality and is a symbol of patriotism, bravery and luck. People in the teenage stage are growing and need to cultivate the traits to be patriotic and brave as well. Using shamrock as the theme of the speech competition means a lot. Putuo District will do its job to support the event.
Before coming to Shanghai, Minister Joe McHugh read letters written by the winners last year, who came from High School Affiliated to Fudan University and wrote down thoughts after visiting Ireland. He was impressed by their description of and love for Ireland and said that the future belongs to young people and the Shamrock Cup has a profound meaning.
Student representative Zhao Jianhan from Caoyang Middle School gave a speech on behalf of students in Putuo District. At the end of the ceremony Minister McHugh presented certifications to the two winners last year and their instructors and expressed the wish that they would be the ambassadors to promote the two countries’ friendship and cultures.
This year the competition will have junior high students participating for the first time, dividing the competition into two groups, the senior high and the junior high. Winners in the senior will be granted the chance to go for an exchange to the Cork City in Ireland along with their instructors, fees undertaken by Consulate General of Ireland in Shanghai, Tourism Ireland and the Municipal Government of Cork. Participants in the Junior High Group on the other hand will be given a variety of prizes and opportunities to be part of more Ireland-related activities.
Let’s wait to see more of this year’s Shamrock Cup and wonderful competition is on in Putuo.