06 February 2020

Debate Mate competition success

Sevenoaks students competed at the Debate Mate schools competition, winning the grand final!

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On 25 January, Luke Ashworth, Marcus Choy, Sofia Melamed, Dan Naylor, Siming Feng and I attended the Debate Mate Schools debating competition.

The competition was full of amazing speakers, and thus the level of debate was incredibly high, making for an unforgettable experience. The motions we debated covered a variety of policy areas: classical texts in education, violence and law in sports clubs, development aid in undemocratic regimes, and voting rights of young people.

This competition was very successful for Sevenoaks; Dan and Sofia qualified for the Novice Final, and Siming and I qualified for the Grand Final. Having announced the motion of the Grand Final, namely “This house regrets the use of very young leaders to lead social movements (e.g. Great Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai)”, we went to prepare our speeches in our given positions (Closing Government, meaning we supported the motion). As MP, I ran a case on the ineffectual nature of these leaders in their policy-making because they do not have the connections, CV, and political gravitas that political leaders have, which is problematic when leaders like Trump try to antagonise these movements and can use the age of these leaders as a critique of the movement as a whole; Siming was the Whip and successfully dismantled the case brought by the Opposition.

After deliberation, the judges announced that we won the final and therefore won the competition as a whole. It was also announced that Siming was sixth best speaker of the competition and I was ranked Best Overall Speaker.

Debate Mate 2020 was not only one of the most enjoyable debating competitions I have had the privilege of attending but one of the most successful. We are all incredibly grateful to Miss Power for allowing us to go, and Mr Beck for accompanying us and staying to watch the final.

Niloufar Davis, L6

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