YOUNGSTERS from Puddletown Middle School found their voice to win the semi-final of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition.

The competition saw the Puddletown school hosting the semi-final of the intermediate competition for 11 to 13- year-olds with around 100 people attending to hear eight teams of youngsters debate topics ranging from shoes to understanding women.

The winning team from Puddletown included Maddy Dipple, who also claimed the best individual speaker prize for her six-minute treatise on her favourite food, chocolate. Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary president Diana Apps said: “In an age where the mechanisms for the exchange of ideas are the most accessible they have ever been but where misunderstanding and misinformation has arguably never been so rife, it is heartwarmingly encouraging to see old-fashioned public speaking in such good heart and competent hands.”

The Puddletown team will now head to the Rotary District Youth Speaks competition final, which is being held in Cheddar today.