On Monday 26 November, two Sixth Form members of d’Overbroeck’s Debating Club, Alice Summerfield (left) and Anna-Maria Woodrow (right), represented d’Overbroeck’s in the first round of the annual English Speaking Union Debating Competition.
Held at Oxford Spires Academy, there were six teams debating in total, representing schools with excellent history in this competition such as Cheney School, Abingdon School and Headington School. There were three debates in total, and the Judges would choose the three best teams overall to progress to the next round in January 2019. In the first two debates, the teams from Abingdon and Headington stood out as being tough competition. The Abingdon boys in particular were not lacking in confidence in their delivery; whilst the girls from Headington were tenacious and well-prepared debaters.
Our team, representing d’Overbroeck’s in the ESU competition for the first time, were in the final debate of the evening, and had a tricky motion to argue; that “This house would weight votes such that the younger the voter, the more powerful their vote”. Their opponents, Cheney School, have a strong pedigree in this competition and, as expected, put forward an accomplished case for the opposition. Yet our two warmed up nicely during their speeches, giving excellent points of information, and reacting very well to the points raised by the opposition and the floor.
As the Judges retired to consider their verdict, it is perhaps fair to say that Alice and Anna-Maria were not feeling hugely confident. After an agonising wait, the judges finally returned and the verdict was announced:
“The three teams to progress to Round 2 of the ESU Competition, 2018-2019 are: Cheney School…. Headington School… and…. d’Overbroeck’s!”
Massive congratulations to Alice and Anna-Maria! An amazing performance. Next stop, Round 2!