We are very pleased that one of the activities that has continued unabated during lockdown is Debating. As we found in the summer, it lends itself particularly well to online platforms such as Zoom and Teams and, indeed, all competitions have now been held online since March last year.
As is our custom at NHSG, we entered teams for both the Cambridge and Oxford competitions this year. We have a long and successful history of qualifying for Finals’ Day, which is of course always – until last year – held in the revered Union Society of each university, a streak which was continued last year when Liv Urwin and Jessica Spearman qualified for Finals, only to have it cancelled at the last minute as the country went into full lockdown.
Liv and Jess were back in the ring on this occasion, with Cambridge qualifiers on Saturday 16th and Oxford on Thursday 21st January, along with our other experienced debaters and some brave Year 10 novices, who would probably not have been able to compete had the events been held ‘live’ as usual.
We are thrilled that, from both qualifiers, we have got teams through to both Finals’ Days in March, a feat that we have only achieved once before. Successful in breaking to Cambridge were Emma Gibson and Ishika Jha, who both also made it through to Oxford, with teammates Liyanah Riyaz and Emma Scanlon.
Even though the girls will sadly not have the special experience of attending the competitions in person at Oxford and Cambridge this time round, I am sure they will all rise to the occasion, and have set themselves up very well for next year, when we all earnestly hope that Debating will return to the hallowed rooms of Frewin Court and Round Church Street.