Our team comprised of two school ‘brainiacs’ Jen Atherton and Eloise Massett and two ‘creative minds’ in Katy Jones and Genevieve Sabherwal. We began the evening with a cheeky team bonding session in a local café before a quick trip to Sainsburys to buy supplies (sweets).
We arrived at the Peel Lecture Theatre in the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol five minutes late to find that the pre-competition lecture was just beginning. On arriving at the lecture theatre we saw five other teams each with up to six members to our four. Before the evening our Geography teacher at school had informed us the competition was regarding Tourism in Bristol so when the lecturer starting talking about Tourism in St. Lucia we were all very surprised. Jen remembers making a comment to Katy about being in the wrong room or on the wrong day like last time.
The lecture lasted for approximately 35 minutes and during that time we were blasted with facts and figures about St Lucia as well as given subtle hints about what to include in our presentation. After the lecture finished we moved down to another room which had six tables, one for each team. We sat down and were given a number of supplies with which to make a giant A1 poster. We were also given an information pack that included 23 sources of information and the four options.
The hour began and we were tasked with selecting one of the four options and creating a 4 minute presentation with accompanying poster on why we selected that route. All four of the choices were based around improving the sustainability of the future of St Lucia. The hour flew by as Jen and Eloise desperately tried to skim read through the 23 sources and produce the bulk of the spoken aspect of the presentation. Meanwhile Gen and Katy were having a ball of a time creating a colourful poster with large blue waves and an island using oil pastels brought by our team.
Finally the hour was up and we had to place our poster on a display boards this was a chance to see the others teams creations, which worried us because none were quite as adventurous as ours. Then with the blast of a whistle the presentations began and the room erupted with excitement and trepidation. Thankfully, with three judges and six teams, we didn’t have to start immediately which gave us an opportunity to practice what we would say. But soon it was our turn. Our presentation was fluid with quick hand overs and even to make it memorable Katy and Genevieve generated a little role play so the judge would receive the point of view from the local fisherman José and Fidél with them fishing out of 3D buckets and colourful fish caught on string. The presentation concluded with the judge looking through a periscope with an island drawn at the end with a line given by Genevieve of ‘We can’t just think about the now, we have to think about the future, the future of St. Lucia’. We then were asked questions and the judges wrote down a mark out of 15.
Around half an hour later we were finished and had completed the other 2 presentations and were waiting in anticipation but chuckling to ourselves over the madness of the evening. Both 3rd and 2nd were awarded and then a pause before 1st place. We won. We were so shocked all our mouths were hanging open, but we did it and were in fits of laughter. An awestruck Jen got up to collect the trophy and the next 5 minutes were a blur of pictures and handshakes.
Even now a week later we still can’t believe it and are laughing at the recollection, but we can still remember the facts and are probably experts on Tourism and Sustainability in St Lucia!
As a team, we would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in organising the event, we had a fantastic evening and genuinely feel that it has helped improve our Geography skills as well as confidence in delivering a presentation.
(Jen Atherton, Eloise Massett, Katy Jones and Genevieve Sabherwal)