On the weekend of February 25th and 26th, the English and Scottish Legs of the John Smith Memorial Mace 2016-2017 were held, in Nottingham and Glasgow respectively.
Each competition serves as the national university debating championship for their respective nations. The Welsh Leg already had its champions, the University of Swansea, selected in December 2016. Swansea defeated another team from Swansea and two teams from Cardiff, including our mentor Raphael Hill. Joining Swansea as national champions are Oxford for England and Edinburgh for Scotland. The Irish Leg will be held on April 15th.
The winning team from Oxford contained Teck Wei Tan and Louis Collier (see main photo). Teck Wei has worked as an ESU Debate Academy mentor and recently returned from the World University Debating Championships, where he reached the Semi-finals. Louis has also worked as an ESU Debate Academy mentor and has previously won the ESU Schools’ Mace English and International Finals, as well as being an alumnus of the English World Schools’ Debating Championship team.
Joining them in the final were another team from Oxford, a team from Cambridge and a team from Manchester. Within these teams was Kit Mercer, an ESU Mentor, and Sarah Vickers an alumni and former winner of the English Schools’ Mace.
Congratulations also to the teams that reached the Semi-Finals of the English Leg: two teams from Durham, a team from Bristol and a team from Lancaster. Hassan Aftab and Susan Vahtramae, from Lancaster, are both trained ESU Mentors who have worked for us across the North West.
The English Leg this year also contained a “pro-am” final (where a more experienced speaker partners a novice speaker). This final contained teams from Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham and UCL. Congratulations to the UCL team that won, which included our mentor Srdjan Miletic.
We would like to thank everyone that worked so hard to enable these competitions to occur. Strathclyde University ran an excellent Scottish Leg, and the ESU would also like to thank Nottingham Debating Union and their volunteers for a fantastic English Leg. The Welsh leg was organised by the University of South Wales Debating Society and our own ESU Ambassador for the South West and South Wales, Craig McDonald. We would also like to thank the Equity and Adjudication teams of the Scottish, Welsh and English Legs.
We look forward to finding out who will be crowned Irish national champions on April 15th! After that date, we will be inviting all four national champions to Dartmouth House on April 29th to compete in the International Final of the John Smith Memorial Mace. For more details about this event, check out the Facebook event.
For more information on the ESU's programmes click here