Little matters more than the ability to communicate, and debating whets many elements of this life skill: finding compelling and rational arguments; deploying rhetorical devices, and presenting prioritised information in a coherent structure.
After forming two teams: Ronav Jain and Alex Kalogrianitis in KES A, and myself and Safwan Sacranie in KES B, we received information sheets and had a practise debate on vegetarianism, and then another meeting to discuss the pre-released motion: ‘This house would ban foreign aid charities from using (overly sensational) images of suffering.’
On Saturday 16 January, we competed in the Oxford Union ICYD Midlands Regional Round. Ronav rose to the challenge and delivered not only his speeches, but also those of Alex who unfortunately had technical difficulties; Ronav was ranked ninth best individual speaker, and secured KES ninth place.
Safwan and I, with two firsts and one second, secured our team a place in the fourth debate, and then secured our place in the next round: the National Final, which will take place on 1 May. Individually, Safwan was ranked joint second best speaker, and I was overall ranked top individual speaker.
Thanks to Mrs Linehan, Omar Amin and Nikash Chekuri for helping us to prepare.