WORDSMITH: William Frazer, 16, from Casino High School is in the running for Lions Youth of the Year.
WORDSMITH: William Frazer, 16, from Casino High School is in the running for Lions Youth of the Year. Susanna Freymark

William wows with words in youth title

ONE of the great fears for many people is public speaking.

Not so for Casino High School student William Frazer.

He is in the running to become the Lions Youth of the Year in his third round of making planned and impromptu speeches.

Describing himself as a "normal teenage boy," 16-year-old William has a quiet confidence and self- belief that belies his age.

"Making a speech is a great way to express your ideas if you talk about something you are passionate about," he said.

It was William's English teacher who suggested he enter the first round of speeches for the Lions Club Youth of the Year.

In two weeks, William has been in rounds in Casino, Alstonville and Tweed Heads, and next is Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast.

"You go into a room and three judges listen to your speech," he said.

The judges are Youth of the Year sponsors from the National Australia Bank.

William waits in a room with five other regional finalists.

"The most important thing is to stay cool, calm and collected. I take deep breaths," he said.

If William wins the Gold Coast round on April 2, he goes to the state final and then on to the national round in Echuca in May.

"I'll try my best. Each stage of the competition gets harder and there can only be one winner," he said.

A $4000 holiday with $1000 spending money is up for grabs for the state winner.

His mother Zandra Frazer is "proud as punch" and says his father, who died last July, would have been too. "His dad was into debating," Ms Frazer said. "He'd have been so proud of William."



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