Last weekend, RGS Worcester Debaters, sponsored by SME Solicitors, continued their remarkable run of results with a clean sweep of the Finals at Nottingham Schools.
For many of the Senior Society debaters, this was their third competition in under two weeks and there was concern that they might be too tired to compete at their best. How wrong we were! Felix Haynes and Amber Warner-Warr arrived at Nottingham Schools having already qualified, with another pair, Sam Churchill and Josh Warner, for the Oxford and Cambridge Finals Days. This is a huge achievement. For Oxford Schools, there were over 60 teams competing from the West Midlands for only nine places on Finals Day – and RGS Worcester picked up two of these. At the Cambridge Regional Round for the Midlands and Wales, it was even tighter with only five places available. Again, RGS Worcester claimed two of these with Amber and Felix qualifying in first place for Cambridge Finals Day for the second time in two years. We are only hoping that the snow will not prevent us competing this year!
At Nottingham, it was going to be another challenging day with nearly 40 teams, mainly from across the Midlands, competing for the win. Four rounds of debating followed to create a league table of the pairs. Amber and Felix had another superb day, reaching the final in first place on the table, and with Amber as Best Speaker in the competition. Not only this but they were joined by our Year Eleven pair of Tess Rabjohn and Ella Gibbs who had an amazing run of debates to qualify second for the Final. The four teams in the Final were given the motion that, apart from where there is a demonstrable threat to national security, this house believes that it is illegitimate for western states to limit immigration from the developing world. It was a daunting proposition and the RGS teams were up against each other as well as two other pairs. Our Year Eleven pair did well, speaking out into the large lecture hall with great assurance, but it was Felix and Amber who won again! This means that they have won most of the local competitions, winning Cardiff Schools in 2016-17, Birmingham Schools and the ESU Mace West Region in 2017-18 and now Warwick and Nottingham champions in 2018-19!
The Lower Sixth pair of George Garrity and Alex Owen, competing in their first Senior competition, also qualified for the Novice Final at Nottingham – which they went on to win, debating the motion that this house supported recasting females into traditionally male roles, e.g. Dr Who. Overall, therefore, this was a great day for RGS Worcester. With the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Finals Days and Durham Schools in the second part of the term, we can move forward with confidence, ready to face the best not only from this country but internationally as well.
Miss J Waller
Head of Debating