Debating duo Katie and Ellen have described being crowned Debating Champions of East Cambridgeshire as the perfect early Christmas present.
The two students, representing Soham Village College and Ely College, were among 14 Year 11 students to battle it out last week in the finals of MP Lucy Frazer’s Parliamentary Inter Schools Debating Competition 2017, held at the Palace of Westminster.
The finalists, all winners of their school’s initial in house round, represented Ely College, Soham Village College, King’s Ely, Bottisham Village College, Impington Village College, Linton Village College and Witchford Village College.
Arguments on both sides were well considered, well articulated and persuasive, Ms Frazer said.
“When I first came up with the idea to hold an inter school debating competition, I could not have known that I would have so much support and positive feedback from all the teachers who make the competition possible, giving so much of their time to helping organise the students.
“Four years on, the level of commitment and calibre of debating is clear to see and I am glad I was not the one judging as it was so hard to choose a winner.
“I hope everyone involved, including all the students who didn’t make the final, have gained a taste for how exciting it is to have the confidence to speak in public and that they will take this forward with them as they continue into higher education and the workplace.”
Katie, of Soham Village College, said she was thrilled to win and have the chance to visit Parliament.
Ellen, of Ely College, said the experience of debating at Westminster had been incredibly inspiring.
“There was some hot competition and great debaters with a lot of experience. I’m just so grateful for being offered this opportunity. I enjoyed the feeling of a debating environment and seeing how The House of Commons works; gaining an insight into the diversity of voices.
“I had never done anything like this competition before, this is a new skill which I am keen to build upon. We have discussed the potential for a Debating club which I’m sure would be well supported in school.”