Welsh Schools Debating Championships 2010

No, this isn’t about the World Schools Debating Championships on which I have admittedly devoted a large number of blogposts towards. Rather, I am referring to the 2010 Welsh Schools Debating Championships which concluded on the 29th November 2010 at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff. I arrived just in time after an hour long bus trip to see ‘Cwmcarn High School, Crosskeys’ battle against ‘Caerleon Comprehensive School, Newport’ on the motion that ‘THW further restrict civil liberties to protect the UK from terrorism’. The Grand Final was held in the Temple of Peace’s Council Chambers with a five adjudicator panel judging. The adjudication panel consisted of

  • Naomi Blight – Programme Co-ordinator of CEWC-Cymru
  • James Brimble – Trustee of the Welsh Center for International Affairs
  • Peter Sutch – Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at Cardiff University
  • Mike Douse – Chair of the Brecon Speakers’ Club
  • Vicky Jones – Chair of the Cardiff University Debating Society

The proposition team from Cwmcarn High School, Crosskeys consisted of Sara Morgan and Sarah Roberts (a current member of Team Wales) and was coached by Dean Regulski.
The opposition team from Caerleon Comprehensive School, Newport consisted of Ryan Hopkins and James Davies and was coached by Jodi Roberts.

The Debate

With Cwmcarn High School restricting their model to just longer detention periods without trial and permitting previously inadmissible evidence, Caerleon Comprehensive largely imploded on their own. From the start, they took a more negative and scatter gun approach, arguing the ideas of democracy and slippery slope. These were mostly based on assertions, particularly when it came to the slippery slope argument when they could only draw on imagery and predictions.

Overall however, the debate was surprisingly low on evidence. As a prepared debate, I would have expected more case-studies or research on the success or failures of the existing system

Despite this, the opposition suffered in it’s lack of an adequate response to the propositions case. Rather unexpected however, the adjudicators saw the debate as a “extremely close” debate, splitting the votes 3 to 2 for Cwmcarn High School, Crosskeys before an audience that included David Wigley, another member of team Wales 2010.

Sara and Sarah helped Cwmcarn High School win the Welsh Schools Debating Championships for the first time in the schools history and now progress to the third stage of selections for Team Wales 2010. Ryan and James will have to proceed through Round 2 which consisted of a selection day for all Outstanding Individual Debaters of all WSDC rounds. The Selection Day was held on the 4th December 2010.