Jenni urges ban of steeplechase
JENNI Mercer has an important message and she wants the whole of Australia to hear it.The Tannum Sands teenager will reach out to the nation in an attempt to stop steeplechasing in Australia – a sport she describes as unnecessary and barbaric.
On Saturday Jenni will give one of the most important speeches of her life when she contests the Quota Student of the Year Quest at Coolum Beach.
As winner of the Quota Student of the Year Quest Gladstone Club area, Jenni, 17, earned the right to become the region’s ambassador at the district finals.
Jenni, a Year 12 student from Tannum Sands State High School, will compete against club winners from Rockhampton to the Gold Coast.
She will undergo an afternoon of panel interviews before delivering a two-minute prepared speech on a topic of her choice plus an impromptu speech.
Admitting to being a “little bit” nervous about the finals, Jenni said she liked to think she was a reasonable public speaker and was prepared for the event.
“To get to this level you have to be passionate about your community and what is happening around you,” she said.
“We are asked about our leadership skills, tested on our general knowledge and awareness of current events, plus questioned on our future aspirations.
“My speech is on steeplechasing across Australia.
“I think it’s awfully barbaric and unnecessary ... so different to track racing.
“They tend to take thoroughbreds straight off the track and expect them to jump big heights at high speeds.
“The expectations are unrealistic and I am really passionate about seeing a stop to this,” she said.