The power of speech

Optimist International Oratorical Competition 

Youth who have not yet graduated from high school or equivalent are eligible to enter. Students must enter through an Optimist Club in their area who is hosting an oratorical contest. Club winners should receive medals. There is a limit of one speaker from each Zone who will be entered in the District competition, District Chair Marijke Coffa must receive zone winners by April 15 with all appropriate papers signed for the District judging.

The Central Ontario District Competition is always held at the Third Quarter District Meeting. It is each club's responsibility to fund the participation of their contestant and their family at this event. The winner continues on to the Regional Competition, and hopefully the International Competition in St. Louis, Missouri. The Central Ontario District funds the participation of our winner at these levels.

Contest information and applications may be obtained by going to the Optimist International web site. District awards are first prize $2,500 scholarship, second prize $1.500.00 scholarship and third prize $1,000.00 scholarship. The topic for the 2018 Oratorical Contest is "Where are my roots of Optimism?".

Our Central Ontario District Competition winner was Aaru Chandra, sponsored by the Optimist Club of Oakville.  He continued on to compete in the Regional Oratorical Competition, representing the Great Lakes, North East Region.

Aaru came in Third Place in our region. We are very proud of his accomplishments. An amazing achievement by a young man who is only in Grade 8.

For more information about the Central Ontario District Oratorical Competition, please contact our Oratorical Chair, Marijke Coffa at or by phone at 905-634-7928. Thank you Marijke for chairing another amazing competition. Below there is a short video from the winner of the 2017 Optimist International Oratorical Competition.