International debating finals await Perse pupils
30 Mar 2021
Sanjana Bhatnagar and Alina Turchyn successfully argued their case to reach the International Competition for Young Debaters finals.
The Year 10 pupils made it through the online regional finals after demonstrating their debating skills across four motions, including whether charities should be banned from using emotional images in fundraising, whether sports clubs should be penalised for the poor behaviour of their fans, whether companies should be taxed for using automation and whether trial by jury should be abolished.
Going into the competition, they were only given prior knowledge of the charities question and had just 15 minutes to prepare their arguments for the other debates.
Alina said: “It was just an impulse decision to enter the competition, so it’s a bit overwhelming, but quite exciting to get through to the final.
“We were very scared because we’d never done anything like this before, but it was actually quite fun once we got used to it.”
Sanjana added: “Before each debate we were completely terrified, but we’d try to go out of our way to make sure that our points were as different as we could make them so we didn’t have to worry about them being repeated.
“Being able to logically argue with people who were so clever themselves was a really eye-opening experience. We had to really think about what we were going to say and how we were going to say it to come out on top.”
They are now looking forward to taking part in the final against teams from across the world in May.
Sanjana said: “It will be a really high standard of competition, so we are going to be up against it, but we’ll try to do our best.”