Debating Winning Ways
Over the Easter weekend, Senior debaters from RGS Worcester will be in action at the Durham University Schools Competition. Over 70 teams from across the country compete in this prestigious event. Nick Humphries, Society President, and Toby Messervy-Whiting, last year’s Regional Winners for the West in the English Speaking Union (ESU) Mace competition, will take part in five debates before the Semi-Finals and Finals.
“This is the final hurrah for the schools’ debaters across the country,” said Miss Waller, Head of Debating,” Nick and Toby will be up against some of the best debaters from schools such as Eton College, Westminster School and St Paul’s Girls’ School. It is intensely competitive – but a lot of fun! We owe a big thank you to Thursfields for their support in making this trip possible.”
However, it is not just Nick and Toby who have experienced success this year. Katy Fellows and Scott Whitefoot continued RGS Worcester’s winning ways in the ESU Mace competition, reaching the Regional Finals where they were narrowly beaten by Marling School. For this Final, Katy and Scott had to prepare a challenging motion on whether we should legalise the buying and selling of human organs.
Samantha Wilson and Lucy Hope were one of only eight teams from the Midlands to qualify for the Oxford University Finals, an international competition with teams from the UK and abroad. Lucy writes:
‘The Oxford Union Society's annual British Parliamentary Schools' Debating Competition is one of the largest of its kind. This year, over a thousand teams competed at Regional levels to qualify for the Finals Day. Sam and I competed against other pairs from the Midlands at M.P.W. Sixth Form College Birmingham on 8 February. This round had two debates; the first proposed giving equal television coverage to men's and women's sports and in the second we debated vigilante justice.
Sam and I qualified for the Oxford Finals Day. This was a highly competitive day, with four complicated motions. In the first round we opposed giving people found not guilty at trial financial compensation. We won this table thanks to an impassioned speech from Sam. This meant that we were up against an incredibly strong table in the second round, including the eventual winners. In the third round we came up against pairs from Holland and Canada in a motion on how to keep school students motivated. The fourth round concerned allowing people with a history of using violence for political ends to run for office in post-combat states. It was an exhausting day filled with intellectually challenging motions, fierce competition and some very high quality speeches.’
With Durham schools this week, the debating season moves to a close. It has been a magnificent year from our competition debaters of all ages, culminating in school with an extremely hard-fought House Debating competition. Congratulations to Wylde for their win in the Seniors, to Whiteladies in the Middle School and Ottley in the Lower School. The Seniors are now preparing for the Debating Society Dinner on 22 April: this should provide us with a fantastic end to an excellent season.
Miss Jane Waller – Head of Debating