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.
As we prepare to set off for Doha, I now look back on the delightful journey we as a team went through in the last 3 months.
Having not sent a Hong Kong team last year, this HK Team lacked the true continuum and experience of having participated in WSDC before. The four new faces of Ben Allen (La Salle), Paul Lau (South Island School), Heather Pickerell (German Swiss International School) and Prakash Sanker (South Island School) joined veteran Annette Chau following a tough December trial.
As school started to fill our calendar, we started off meeting weekly at SIS, starting at 5:00 and regularly lasting until 9:00 before we left. During Christmas, we had an intensive 5 day training, even spending new years even debating. As WSDC lurched ever closer, we began meeting twice a week, 3 times a week, not to mention the hundreds of emails and thousands of pages we read.
While we struggled to balance school, exams and debating, Gerg and Mr. Evershed quite literally had to juggle much more with arrangements, communication and well us to deal with. The 20 odd training sessions we had took their toll on our minds and bodies. Our debates got hotter and our minds more filled. Right the way through this, Gerg and Mr. Evershed kept us sane, alive and well.
After over 20 sessions of training, the team began to pull together and managed to at least sound coherent. As we began the count-down to the actual start of WSDC, we had a freak-out period when we suddenly realised we had only 2 weeks left and started to go mad in preparation, additional meetings; all of which took quite a tool on our sanity and health, leaving me sick and everyone struggling to do everything at the same time. Nevertheless, with the help of everyone on the team, we managed to get through the difficultly which leads us to the present time as we await our planes departure from Hong Kong to Doha.
Its been a truly difficult, unexpected, tiring and uphill learning curve. But with the help of each other, we managed to get through it all and survived to see another day.
With the hard work finished, we set off at midnight for 2 weeks of even tougher competition. See you all in Doha!