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Posted: 11.03.24

Oxford University Schools’ Debating Final

Oxford University Schools’ Debating Final

On Saturday 9th March, Tomos Feasey and Jack Organ (Upper Sixth) competed in the Oxford University Schools’ Debating Final at the famous Oxford Union.

The Oxford competition is the most prestigious and challenging schools’ debating competition in the world, with thousands of schools competing against each other in initial rounds across the globe for a coveted place in the final at Oxford. Tomos and Jack, having won their regional round, were up against some of the best schools in the UK, as well as teams from as far as Korea, Venezuela, Canada and Hong Kong, who travelled to Oxford for a single day of debating.

The format is simple: Teams are told which side they need to argue (either on the government, proposing the motion, or the opposition) and then they have a nervous 5-minute wait to be told the motion. They then have 15 minutes to prepare their speeches before the debate begins; this includes the time to get to the correct room, which on several occasions was in a building a street away from the Oxford Union for us.

As usual, the Christ College Brecon team put in some excellent performances, approaching each debate with enthusiasm and proving themselves to be intellectually agile, knowledgeable about global issues and creative in their argumentation.

There were some nerves at the beginning of the day, but after the first round motion was announced (CCB had to argue against: This House Believes that modern fictional media should not portray members of an oppressed minority group – such as LGBTQ+ or minority ethnic groups – as villains) the boys were, in their words, ‘cooking’.

They emerged in 1st place after this round – an exceptional achievement in itself – and this meant that in the following rounds they would face teams who also came 1st place in their respective debates. The quality was the highest the boys had ever seen and they were thrilled to come 3rd place in this second round, given the calibre of opposition.

Whilst we did not win the day, the boys did themselves and the school proud, displaying exemplary Christ College spirit and composure against the best teams in world. Congratulations to both.

 

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