Chichester schoolchildren awarded for excellent poems

Poetry competitors at the Chichester Rotary Club awards
Poetry competitors at the Chichester Rotary Club awards

PROUD writers took home their prizes from an annual competition for budding young poets.

The poetry competition for Chichester schoolchildren is now in its seventh year, with a record number of entrees this year.

Held by the Rotary Club of Chichester last Wednesday, the awards ceremony had more than 130 poems submitted for the judge to consider.

The event was founded by Cliff Hughes, who is now the club’s president.

“It’s proving very popular,” he said after the awards ceremony at Chichester City Council’s council chamber in North Street.

“Of course, it’s a good opportunity for children to practise their literary skills.

“Many of them read their own poems on this evening.”

The winners received their prizes from city mayor John Hughes.

“I started it seven years ago,” said Cliff.

“I came into rotary and they didn’t give me a job to do.

“I thought ‘I’ve got to do something useful’ and we got it going and its worked.”

He said one of the best bits was getting to see some of the submitted poems, which often had been decorated.

“It’s great because some of the children embellish their poems with very nice decorations – that’s a really nice thing,” he said.

“They put their time into it and sometimes you think ‘I wish we could award prizes to all of them’.”

At the awards ceremony last Wednesday evening, children read out their winning poems to a packed audience of teachers and parents from around Chichester.

Judge David Swann, from the University of Chichester, had a tough time from a record number of 134 entries this year of high-quality poems on the theme of the lives of streams and rivers around the world .

As part of the ceremony, Cliff gave a short presentation about Rotary and the background to the competition.

Howard Bottomley, chairman of the international committee, thanked everybody involved, including the many parents and teachers present.

Rotarian Barbara Howden Richards, who organised the event for 2015, said she was delighted with the record response.

She thanked the sponsors the Trefoil Trust, John Wiley and Sons, Wood Travel Ltd and Waterstones who made the competition and prizes possible.

Her work at organising the event was praised by the rotary president.

“She did a fine job in getting such a high number of entries and deserves to be recognised,” said Cliff.

There were three age categories for the awards, for ages five to seven, eight to 11 and 12 to 15.


- Ages five to seven

1st – Philip Barker

2nd – Erica Barker

3rd – Ethan Hill

- Ages eight to 11

1st – Dominic Harry

2nd – Evangeline Wishart

3rd – Lily Morrison

Commended – Millie Creak, Isaac Mead and Matthew Chapplel

- Ages 12 to 15

1st – Miranda Gent

2nd – Bradley Harris

3rd – Kiran Srisarvendran.

Commended – Will Harding, Louis Medlock and Molly Hogan-Hussein