In recognition and celebration of the art of public speaking, the Wollongong Cup Public Speaking Competition - an open-invitation competition for universities in the UAE - was hosted by the Public Speaking Club on 27 February 2010. Twelve universities from the UAE participated in what has become one of the most prestigious competitions in the region and the only competition in the Middle East with categories like Radio News Reading and Story telling.
The tournament had six categories: Public Address; Impromptu; Extemporaneous; Radio News reading; Story Telling Traditional and Story Telling Original. UOWD students participated in all six categories and won prizes in five. The UOWD team consisted of Afshaan Mukhtar, Rashida Daruwala, Insiya Lokhandwala, Kavitha Premchand, Disha Mehta and Chryslin Rodrigues. MAHE Manipal and AUS scored 9 points each and UOWD 7 points. Marks scored by individual students were totalled to break the tie. MAHE, Manipal emerged overall winners; the first runner up position went to AUS and the second runner up position to UOWD. The overall marks of the three teams were very close and the standard of the competition very high.
The first organiser of the event Melissa Bos a former UOWD faculty member and currently Director, English Language Institute and International Studies, NYIT, Amman, gave away the prizes. Speaking at the award presentation, she recalled her time as tournament director and expressed happiness that the legacy was continuing. She was full of praise for the participants of this years competition.
The competition has evolved into an event for students organised by students with support from various UOWD departments. The distinguished panel of judges, some of them UOWD alumni, agreed that the competition was a good platform for university students to hone their public speaking skills, which would serve them well in their career in future.
The UOWD team won in five of the six categories. Kavitha Premchand won the second runners up spot in Traditional Storytelling. Disha Mehta won the second prize in Extemporaneous category. Chryslyn Rodrigues secured the third position in Radio Address. Insiya Lokhandwala won the third prize in Original Storytelling. Afshaan Mukhtar won the third position in the public address category.
The top three winners in each category received trophies and certificates of commendation at the awards ceremony.
The following were the top three winners in each category.
Public Address:Shifa Fazal from BITS Pilani, Afshaan Mukhtar from UOWD and Srijitha Mattookkaram from AUS.
Impromptu:Philip Apaza from AUD, Thana Ansari from GMU and Aseem Prashar from BITS Pilani.
Extemporaneous: Upasana Bhatia from AUS, Disha Mehta from UOWD and Radhika Chopra from MAHE-Manipal.
Radio: Mohammed Ali from MAHE-Manipal, Raisa Naqvi from AUS and Chryslyn Rodrigues from UOWD.
Story Telling Traditional: Badar Ud Duja from AUS, Blassy Boben from MAHE-Manipal and Kavitha Premchand from UOWD.
Story Telling Original: Jaseena Yusuf from MAHE-Manipal, Syed Faisal from BITS Pilani and Insiya Lokhandwala from UOWD.
The 5th Annual Wollongong Cup Public Speaking Competition was organized by the UOWD Public Speaking Club and supported by the UOWD Student Services Department. The tournament officials included Maham Uzair, Milan Sindhav and Hafsa Abdul Majid.