One of my main hobbies, passions and obsessions is the world of debating. From this seemingly minuscule sport that I joined by a stroke of luck in 2006, I branched into Model United Nations as well as Public Speaking.
After many years of development in skills and knowledge, I was successful in my attempts to add on to my experience in the local Hong Kong scene and managed to enter the world stage of events.
My first major debating experience started with a surprise appearance in 2006 at the Grand Final of the 21st Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition where I was part of the school team that won the entire competition as Champions. You can read the news report of that victory here, notice the shortest kid in the large photo near the center, that’s me.
The Sing Tao continued to be a land of possibility for me with another victory in 2008 at the Grand Final of the 23rd Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition where I was also blessed with the Best Speaker of the Grand Final award. As noted in this news report, it was our second win in three years and my first real participation in the competition as I only completed the Grand Final in 2006 and was too young to participate in the competition in 2007.
In 2009, I participated in the World Individuals Debating and Public Speaking Competition held in Reading, London as part of the Hong Kong Team. After a week of intense competition in four categories of competition, I was surprisingly placed in the Finals of both Debating and Interpretive Reading. The other categories were Impromptu Speaking and Persuasive Speaking. Although I did not manage to break into the Grand Finals for any category, I placed 20th Overall and 5th in Debating capping a remarkable experience, the second best result within the Hong Kong Team and the best year the Hong Kong Team ever had.
You can find out more information about World Individuals Debating and Public Speaking Competition at the official website and check out the photos from 2009 here.
The other major debating competition is the World Schools Debating Championship. I was selected to be part of the 5 member Hong Kong Team in 2010, to represent Hong Kong at the World Schools Debate Competition in Doha, Qatar during February 2010. The team returned ranked 16th in the world out of a highly competitive field of nearly 60 countries, loosing to Australia in the octo-finals.
In April 2010, the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council was set up to foster the development of debating in Secondary Schools and to make communication easier amongst the debating community Hong Kong. In addition to being a member, I was part of the founding group as a student representative and have currently taken up the role of HKSDC Webmaster in charge of the official website at http://hksdc.wordpress.com/
May 2010 saw my final debate as a member of the South Island School Debate Team in the Grand Finals of the 25th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition. In one of the most hotly contested Grand Finals against defending champions La Salle College, we managed to come out on top, winning my third and final Sing Tao Championship. It was our third win in five years, and a perfect end to my time debating at South Island School. You can read the Grand Final article here, and see the records for SIS Debating in 2009-2010 here.
I had the joy of returning again to the World Schools Debating Championships in August 2011, held this year in Dundee, Scotland. As I was studying in Wales at the time, I attended as a member of Team Wales. Unfortunately, we bowed out in the octofinals against Scotland, coming 13th over all. Individually, I was ranked 17th in the world. Over a year long period of training with the Welsh Team, I had the opportunity to attended the 2011 LSE Open and the 2011 Bristol Schools Debating Championships where I was awarded Best Speaker.
Model United Nations
Another offshoot of debating came in the form or Model United Nation which I was first introduced in 2006. Initially, I participated only within School where we discussed a wide range of international issues and topics ranging from Global Warming to Child Labour. In the academic year 2007-08, I proceeded to move beyond MUN in school and participated in the first time in Hong Kong Model United Nations (HKMUN). At the time, I was the youngest ever participant, although that record has since been broken by my junior. Since then, I have participated almost yearly at HKMUN, becoming a delegate again in 2008-2009 when as Uganda, my delegation was awarded ‘Outstanding Delegation’
In addition to taking part in MUN sessions at Atlantic College, I had the pleasure of co-chairing the Security Council during AC MUN 2011. It was a rather different experience but one that I enjoyed nonetheless. The subsequent year, I helped organize AC MUN 2012 which was a significantly new experience. This required making arrangements for visiting delegates and sorting out the logistical details of the conference itself, not to mention liaising and communicating with committees although the conference itself went smoothly and without too many hitches.