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Debating News: Island School Crowned Winner of Inter-school Debate

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For over 10 years a debate trophy has eluded Island School – despite a plethora of close encounters. After a full day of intensive prelims and an even more vigorous finals night, Island School’s team won a narrow victory against its extremely worthy opposition, La Salle College, on 25th September 2013.

Island School’s delegation to the prelims was:

Brian Wong 12W – Captain
Claudia Tam 12F
Vinson Yew 12R
Odetta Li 11R

Out of the four, Brian, Claudia, and Odetta spoke at the finals, with Brian captaining the team again.

The preliminary rounds were moderately challenging for Island School, with the team losing by a very narrow margin to the extremely capable DGS and Raimondi, and taking a sweeping victory against St. Paul’s Convent School. Despite this, the high speaker scores pulled the team up into the silver division, where confident and analytical engagement enabled the team to defeat HKIS and CDNIS in the quarters and semis. After a series of ardently-fought battles, Island School broke into the silver finals.

The silver finals motion came from a university tournament, with the respectable La Salle proposing that “This House would end the war on drugs.”, and Island School in the opposition. Under the guidance of Mr. Stevens and Ms. Heung, the team took on a more balanced and strategic position in its engagement with the proposition case. The neck-and-neck debate initially went back and forth on the grounds of practicalities and the imperative of the status quo. However, with weighty analysis coming from the third speaker of Island School on the principles underlying the case, the team was able to swing the debate definitively to its ground at the last minute – taking the victory by 4 votes to 1.

Brian was crowned the Best Speaker of the Finals, whilst both Brian and Claudia ranked in the top 15 of the overall Speaker’s Tab.

To the team the victory came as a great relief and a moment worth much celebration! It was certainly not easy to speak in front of a large and formidable audience; it was even more difficult to dedicate hours after hours after-school scribbling on whiteboards and planning out cases. Yet at the end of the day, the hard work clearly paid off through Island School’s outstanding achievements. Thanks must go to Mr. Stevens and Ms. Heung for their guidance and support in the preparatory process.

Stay in tune and come along to watch some great performances from Island School Senior Debate & Co.! For more photos, please visit the official HKSDC website – credits to Paul Lau who runs the official site.

By Brian Wong (12W)

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