A team from Meilong Middle School and another from Caoyang No.2 High School won the top prizes at the Shamrock Cup English Speech Competition at Caoyang Middle School on Friday.
With the awards come the opportunity for a trip to Ireland at the invitation from the Consul General of Ireland to Shanghai for themselves and their tutors.
The Shamrock Cup was launched in 2013 and has been held in Huangpu, Jing’an, Changning, Pudong and Yangpu, attracting more than 300 high school students.
This year, the event was supported by Shanghai International Education Association, Putuo District Education Bureau and the Consulate General of Ireland to Shanghai and for the first time, had a contest for younger students.
In total, students from 14 high schools and 21 middle schools have participated in the event this year while six high school teams and four from middle schools made into the final on Friday with speeches on the history, culture, architecture, literature, tourism and food of Ireland.
Unlike most speech competitions, each team consisted of three members and presented performances along with their speeches.
Jiang Haishan, president of Shanghai International Education Association, said the competition had improved cooperation between Shanghai and Ireland in education and culture and helped Shanghai students understand the difference between countries, nationalities and cultures.
Therese Healy, Consul General of Ireland to Shanghai, said the event was one of friendship and sharing about Ireland and the English language.
“It is also about team work and the students are tested on their debating and speaking skills, abilities that will stand to them as they enter third level education and the workplace in the near future,” she said. “In Ireland, the shamrock is a symbol of unity. What better way to mark this unique competition which symbolizes exchange and friendship between Ireland and China?”