Three high school students, Emmi Suvinen, Katariina Jokinen, and Elli Huitu, participated in the English College Open, a debate tournament that took place from 26-28 January 2018 at the Tallinn English College. It was our first time at this event and we came out quite satisfied with the outcome. Many teams have been debating for years while our team has only been at it since October 2017, in other words less than four months.
Teams from a variety of countries were present such as Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Turkey, and Italy. The quite demanding motions to debate were about Trump’s “America First” policy stance, and another one on prioritizing female headed technology startups. There were also two impromptu motions which means that debaters are told the motion one hour before the debate and may not consult internet or anybody other than the team to prepare it. Those topics were that liberal democracies should boycott the Russian World Cup 2018 and that we regret Netflix’s decision to fire Kevin Spacey from the House of Cards. Needless to say the topics were demanding and the schedule was quite grueling. The team made new friends from all of these countries and greatly enjoyed being in this highly academic environment.
Overall our team came out in 13th place out of 28 and won half of the debates they debated. Congratulations to Emmi, Katariina and Elli!