Before Easter, seven Habs teams participated in the 2021 Durham Schools Debating Competition. Comprised of five rounds before the break and with 133 teams, the competition lasted two intense days and while exhausted, all teams were proud of the results.
Waking up bright and early for the first motion at 09.00am, the Habs teams were tasked with a motion regarding alternate medicines. The students managed to grab three 1sts, two 2nds and a 3rd, which was a great start and provided motivation for the rest of the day.
The second motion provided more of a challenge, focusing on the increased usage of social media by politicians. However, an impressive performance by Ahan (U6R2) and Keshav (11H1) placed them in joint top rank of the competition with maximum points. The third motion was the final one for the open rounds and had mixed results, with most of the Habs teams ending 5-6 on points. Credit is due to Fola (10M2) who managed an impressive 81 speaker points, the highest out of anyone in Habs, which is especially commendable considering how most of the competitors were in Years 12 and 13.
Rounds 4 and 5 were closed, however discussed some interesting motions, discussing crucial topics such as Fairtrade taxes, and Habs teams were successful across the board. The fourth round was the best for the competitors, with an impressive performance earning them a total of 16 points compared to an average of 10.25 from previous motions. Round 5 provided another tough contest, however the teams from Habs completed the closed rounds confident that they had pushed themselves to the limits.
The competitors from Habs were not unrewarded; as a result, Fola and Alex (10 M1) participated in the open quarter finals where they faced some of the best teams in the competition. The Year 10 team placed 7th overall, a fantastic achievement considering the overwhelming majority were significantly older than them.
Furthermore, Aarnav (L6H1) and Lucas (L6H1) made the top 40 for speaker scores (38 and 31 respectively) while Fola proved his skills by ranking in the top 30. Finally, four Habs teams reached the top 50: Alex and Fola in 7th, Lucas in 19th, Maanav and James in 38th and Ahan and Keshav in 38th.
Reaching the quarter finals was an immense achievement and demonstrates how much progress Habs have made in debating in recent years.
The students look forward to the final competition of the year, which will be the final of the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD), plus the restart of the season next academic year.