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Cambridge Schools Debate Competition

On Thursday 5th December, Wen-Yu took 6 students from Hampton Court House’s Debate Club to compete at the Cambridge Schools Debate Competition’s regional round at Kingston Grammar School. The debate was conducted in the British Parliamentary format and over 50 debaters were present at the regional round.

Team A was represented by Gerard Glowacki (Year 8) and Brynley Hamer (Year 9), and Team B was represented by Ben Wilson (Year 8) and Isaac David (Year 8). Anna Kodicek and Levente Din, both from Year 8, were also part of the delegation, initially hoping to learn from observing competitive rooms in order to learn from other debaters. However, due to a team from another school dropping out at the last minute, Anna and Levente bravely volunteered as the “Swing Team”, giving them the chance to debate at one of the most competitive debate tournaments for schools students.

There were two rounds in the tournament. The first round’s pre-released motion reads “This house believes that the British Government should pay househusbands and housewives a salary.”

photoIn the second round, Team A debated the motion “This house believes that Britain should introduce conscription” and Team B and the Swing Team debated the motion “This house believes that employees of key industries should not be allowed to go on strike”. There was a marked improvement from the first round as our debaters gained confidence and experience, and took on two very difficult impromptu motion with only 15 minutes of preparation.

Unfortunately, none of our teams went through to the Finals, but we were able to hold our ground against much more experienced and older debaters from other schools, all of which sent students in the last three years of secondary school.

It was a great learning experience for the debaters, and the students received a lot of constructive feedback from Cambridge University judges. We came away with many new ideas and a keen motivation to improve their debating techniques.

Cambridge Union Society