WSDC 2010: Reflection
This is part of the WSDC 2010 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2010 from Doha, Qatar as a debater, blogger and Hong Kong national team member.
It has been a while since WSDC 2010 ended. I’ve finally got round to putting pen to paper when considering what this competition has been, so here it is.
It’s hard to put into words exactly how the 22nd World Schools Debating Championship in Doha, Qatar truly was. It was lavish and comfortable, tiring and exhilarating, and it was a wonderful learning experience as well as a brilliant social event.
The organisers set out to host the biggest and the best WSDC ever, I’m very doubtful if anyone says otherwise after those two weeks between the 8th and 18th of February 2010. Flushed with funding and more than enough resources, QatarDebate had additional adjudicators sponsored, top notch facilities and well thought-out plans laid out well before we even landed at the tiny Doha International Airport. From that point on, we always had someone there to help us, to set up and organiser for us and to make the event what it was. The Marriott Hotel, with its quite location, private beach and food tent covering two full tennis courts complete with chandeliers, was never going to be easy to beat. Although the rooms were found wanting in some respects, it was in now way below par or problematic for anyone living there.
The lunch we had the day we arrived was jokingly titled ‘the last good meal’. How wrong we were. We discovered that the buffet which we thought was our last would merge into only the first in a whole two weeks worth of buffets. As much as we’d like to complain, it was delicious, varied and filled with Prakash’s favorite green leaves.
The opening ceremony was spectacular, complete with cameras, live playback and performances in a stadium sized ball room in yet another 5 star hotel. Our lions proved to be a hit with the gathering crowd, Kudos to Heather.
Then amongst all us Asians, popped a dark, shadowy figure, better known as Michael of Namibia and his never ending cultural rant. There was team Thailand at the break night party, South Korea who we met at ASDC and sparred in the early days as well as team Nepal as we crowded around the foosball table. The foosball table also represented the total inadequacy of the Hong Kong team in sports, unless you include running or swimming. We lost in foosball to just one Germany player despite having twice the number of players and then even lost on our home turf, table tennis. We subsequently retreated to more familiar ground, watching American made movies with Slovenia and Israel.
Oh, and of course there were the two Irish girls who I rejected, Sorry. We met the Welsh and Singaporeans in debates before being knocked out by the Australian girls whom we subsequently thrashed the last night in sports, strangely, the only win in that ballroom. Admittedly, the Australian’s were fighting in their formal dresses. Nevertheless, they got back at us by using biological warfare and managed to snag both Annette with her sludge eyes and Heather with her continued cough. And of course, there were Champions Canada who played pool with Heather until the late hours. I’m Canadian, so I’m glad you found the draw on my site! I contributed, albeit small and insignificant!
There’s a million and one more things that could and should be said to all. But as the double bell rings.