In late March, a group of 8 students from Years 11 and 12 boarded the train to Durham to enjoy a day of debate on European issues with other school teams from across the regional area.
Along with smart formal wear and our newly assigned committee name of LIBE (the Committee on Civil Liberties) we set out to represent our school in the deliberation of current affairs such as environmental obligations and the proposed sugar tax. We had been preparing for the day’s debates on each Wednesday for the past month, and could not wait to participate for what we thought would merely be a one-off event.
Each debate involved a defence speech that argued for resolution that was being discussed, an attack speech to counter the resolution, points of information from other committees, three separate rounds of debate, two summation speeches from each side and a votes from the committee members at the end to determine whether the resolution had passed or failed.
Even as the debates had come to a close, our team were happy just to have won the vote on the debate that we had the attacking speech and a summation from the opposition for, which had involved unethical arms deals carried out by companies within the EU and nations who abuse international law, such as Saudi Arabia. We had not even entertained the possibility that our team would be selected and that we would be going through to the national session later this year. Though, to our shock and surprise, this is precisely what happened and not just that; we were awarded an overall score of 9.5/10.
Now, after recovering from that shock and realising what lies before us, we cannot wait until the next stage in our EYP involvement, and who knows after that? All we can do from that point is either remain a regional success or head to the internationals.