England Wins International Mace 2011
This article was published on Sunday 1 May 2011
St Paul’s School and Cambridge University have won the ESU International Mace competitions for 2011.The Schools Mace
The ESU John Smith Memorial Mace
Both teams were representing England at the finals in Dublin. Holding both the school and university events on the same day allowed most of the school teams to stay after their event had finished to watch the university championships too.
The semi-final round for the schools saw England (represented by St Paul’s School) take on Scotland (Dollar Academy) and Ireland (St Jarlath’s College) compete against Wales (Cwmcarn High School). The students were faced with the motion; “This House would not allow parents to remove their children from sex education classes”.
Faced with a mixed audience of judges, teachers, parents, grandparents and other family members and supporters all four teams showed off the skills and hard work that had made them national champions. There was then a long wait while the judges in each room deliberated their decision before announcing the two teams in the final were England and Ireland. The motion for the final was “This House Would hold drug dealers liable for the drug-related crimes of their customers”.
England, in proposition, put forward a subtle case based on the idea of supporting victims of crime to pursue restorations through civil actions. The Irish team focused on the lack of deterrent effect from a financial penalty, when long custodial sentences are already a threat. It took the five-person judging panel over 30 minutes to reach their decision, but finally the 2011 winner of the ESU International Schools Mace with the team of Ben Goldstein and Freddy Powell, was England. This is the second win for St Paul’s School, the last one being in 2009. It gives England the international mace for the third year running.
The universities Mace line-up saw Trinity College Dublin Historical Society for Ireland speaking first, followed in second proposition by the Welsh champions, from Cardiff University. Opposing them, the Cambridge Union represented England, whilst the second team on the opposition bench was the Scottish champions from the University of Edinburgh. The motion was; “This House Believes that the West has a duty to fund, and where necessary, arm pro-democracy movements.”
The debate was tough, lively and very well informed with all four teams trading and comparing examples and case studies to support their case. When the debate finished, the teams and audience enjoyed some canapés and wine while waiting to the judges to decide. After a tough, canapé-fuelled decision the judges called the room to order and the team from England were named international champions and presented with the silver university mace. This is the third time that Doug Cochrane has been in the international final. His team mate Maria English is in her first year at university.
Huge congratulations to both of the winning teams, Ben and Freddy from St Paul’s School and Doug and Maria from Cambridge University; and also congratulations to all the other international finalists who represented their country.
Many thanks to Baillie Gifford for their continued sponsorship of the John Smith Memorial Mace and to their team including Chris Hawkins, who came over to Dublin to support the event. We would also like to thank Steve and Judy Roberts who gave up the bank holiday weekend to attend, sign certificates and present prizes and to the judges, Tara Mounce representing England, Jenni Harrison for Scotland, Jon Worgan for Wales and Jim McElroy for Ireland.
This was a great end to a year of well-fought competition, so our thanks also to everyone who helped during the year as judges, coaches and organisers. Entry for the 2011-12 competitions will open towards the end of the academic year. Good luck to everyone for 2011-12!