On Friday 27th January, a debating team from Whitley Academy took part in the Rotary Youth Speaks Coventry Intermediate Final, a debating contest for pupils across Coventry.
On the evening of the debate (hosted at Bablake School), four Whitley Academy students prepared to wow the crowd. These student speakers were: Ciaran, Jason, Destiny and Sam. Jason and I (Holly) had another special mission to accomplish: writing the blog about the event.
We were greeted by a wet walk in the rain and some issues regarding where exactly the event was on the Bablake site. Eventually we found a very helpful student who helped us locate the theatre.
We were ushered into the Bablake theatre where the event was being held and told the rules. The three judges introduced themselves including Ms Davidson, Mrs C. Bond, and Mrs Ryan.
President Kennedy began the night off with the most heart-breaking topic of animals in sports, and the topic circulated around human pleasure at the expense of animal pain. The chairperson, Miriam, engaged us with her captivating introduction. It was a very strong team and they used all of their charm to get the audience’s attention to the topic. The speakers did it very well.
Next up it was Whitley Academy; our school!
We did extremely well. At the start we were unsure of the proceedings of the debate. Then the whole team quickly grasped the gist of their roles. Ciaran (our speaker) did us proud with his wonderful speech on the topic “The Silent Witnesses”. Sam was very articulate in his role as the chair person. Destiny – as the Proposer of the Vote of Thanks – interacted with the audience by asking them questions based on the stories Ciaran told the audience. It was not an easy topic to talk about. Everyone in the audience listened and gave Destiny very thoughtful answers. We, Holly and Jason, sat and watched waiting to write the blog.
Third up was Heart of England who had the subject of 'fantastic books' and why to read them. Zeeshan did a factual speech and even gave advice about reading to children and adults alike, in the audience.
Then Bishop Ullathorne put to the viewers a more sinister speech, “This House Would Arm The Police”. Joseph was the speaker who arrested our attention with a speech on why the police officers in Great Britain should be armed.
When Coundon Court hit the stage, eyes were fixed on them due to the fact that their speaker Hayarah was going to delve into the world of human rights. What a clever idea! Their topic was very current.
The sixth group to attack the audience with facts and opinions was the hosts, Bablake! Speaker Bhavan took us through a vast subject; “The Problem With Evil”; sadly, her team substantially ran out of time.
Penultimate to the last speech was Barr’s Hill with “America; Powerful Or Not?” The speaker Kajaanan was funny and informative, talking to us about soft power, hard power, cheeseburgers and the one; the only Donald Trump.
Finally Seva school wanted to share with us their thoughts on video games. Birjot ,the speaker, reviewed his personal opinions on games, as "violent and corruptive".
So all in all, not a bad day. We didn’t win but it is the taking part and having fun that counts. Fresh minds and a new experience under our belts, we left Bablake knowing that we had tried our hardest and that our clothes were very, very wet.
We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Coventry for giving us such a great platform to raise our voices on the topics of our concerns and interest.