Toronto Balak Wins First Place Trophy in Public Speaking Competition
Ritesh Mehta, age 8, a member of the BAPS Bal Mandal in Toronto, won the First Place Trophy in the Toronto NW1 Public Speaking Competition, Primary Division. Top students from 15 schools from the Toronto NW1 Region participated in the competition which was organized to promote language, communication and thinking skills in students.
Ritesh's speech was on "Canada - Our Amazing Country!" Ritesh was 9th to speak out of 11 finalists. In his speech he talked about amazing things to do and see in Canada, including the places of worship like our famous Mandir in Toronto. When he ended his speech by asking each student to be a ‘proud Canadian’, members of the audience and even some of the judges stood up to give a standing ovation.
Ritesh is in Grade 3 at Humberwood Junior Middle Academy. He received guidance and instruction from his teacher Mrs. Ruby Sihota and Principal Beverley Muir. Ritesh first began learning about public speaking as a member of the Bal Mandal at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Ritesh says he became good at public speaking by participating in Bal Mandal activities and Bal Adhivesans.
An amazing this happened during their school level competition. Even though only a few Balaks attend Humberwood School, five of the top students in the semi-finals were BAPS Balaks. Ritesh Mehta and his sister Meera, Vandan Patel and his sister Tanvi, and Mihir Patel were each chosen as the best in their class, from their school of 1100 students. Three of the Balaks then went onto the Finals (Ritesh, Meera and Tanvi) where they joined 7 other students to compete for the top spot in the school.
Ritesh won the Final competition at his school. and then went on to win the Regional Finals, where 15 schools competed to win the First Place Trophy in the Toronto NW1 Public Speaking Competition. Judges at the regional competition included well known people from Toronto including the police superintendant, high level school officials, newspaper reporters and members of the Lions Club.
After he was awarded the Trophy, a First Place Medal and a certificate on stage, Ritesh was congratulated by each of the judges, principals of many schools and was also interviewed by a reporter from the Toronto Sun Newspaper.
The entire Humberwood School celebrated the win.