2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the World Schools Debating Championships and on Wednesday 16 January, the ESU celebrated this by hosting a public debate between members of this year's team and members of Team England from years gone by.
Team England, coached by former World Champion Lewis Iwu, was selected from a pool of English debating talent over the summer of 2012, and they have been training ever since. Lucy McCann, Will Cook, Barnaby Raine and Ryan Tang have been researching and debating in order to prepare themselves for their first eight preliminary rounds in the hope of continuing to represent the impressive track record of Team England over the past 25 years with 3 World Champion titles and structural appearances in the top 10 speakers.
On Wednesday evening, Team England got to show their worth in a debate against three former members of Team England in an ‘Old vs New Debate’ on the motion that ‘sporting boycotts are a legitimate political tool’. The students met some heavy opposition from Sam Kitchener from the 2002 and 2003 team, Ben Woolgar from the 2008 and 2009 team and Tasha Rachman from the team that attended the Championships last year. After a very interesting debate, the audience decided, through applause measured by Speech and Debate Team Leader Alex Just, that the hard work of Team England clearly paid off and they were declared the winners of the debate.
Beth James, ESU International tour alumna and current Chair of the Championships as well as Debbie Newman, former ESU Speech and Debate Team Leader and current Chair of the English Schools Council shared some of their stimulating thoughts about World Schools and welcomed the current team to the community. Many World Schools alumni were present during the evening and reminisced about their time at the Championships during the reception after the debate. Team England could also rely on some tips and tricks from the former debaters present, and we hope to have given the Team a great send-off when they depart for Turkey on January 26. Speech and Debate Team will be tweeting their progress and once again, wish them a fantastic time in Turkey!