Kirsty leads the way!

A 16-year-old Coleraine High School pupil has won the Rotary Club’s Youth Leadership and Development competition, and with it the opportunity to visit the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, along with other political powerhouses in Northern and Southern Ireland.

Kirsty McCartney (PICTURED RIGHT) was nominated to represent her school in the area heat of the competition. At this initial stage Kirsty was interviewed by a panel of three experienced Rotarian judges, who asked her questions relating to the qualities and skills necessary to be a good leader.

They also enquired about any leadership roles she had previously undertaken. Following a successful interview, Kirsty was selected as the area winner to go forward to the Northern Ireland Finals which were staged in Larne at the end of November.

The final was also interview based where Kirsty had to elaborate on different leadership techniques and highlight what she perceived to be the pros and cons of being an EU member state. As a result of her outstanding performance at this prestigious event, Kirsty along with two other winners will travel as part of an all-Ireland team of winners - first to Stormont to meet and interview Assembly members, then to Leinster House in Dublin to meet and interview other officials, and then to Strasbourg in Eastern France to the seat of the European Parliament.

They will get to spend a full day in Parliament, posing questions and debating issues.

Kirsty said:: “This is going to be an amazing opportunity for me. I hope to develop my own leadership skills and as a result of my experiences, I hope to return to Coleraine and contribute in a positive way to the local community. It’s so exciting.

“I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to get involved in competitions like this one to take it.”