Debating 2020-2021 at the English School
We started off the year in August 2020 with high hopes of being able to train and compete normally. A big group of new high school students were totally eager to learn how to debate, and the older ones very willing to teach.
We also had our obligatory debate course until the end of November, and many students wanted to join the debate club after that because they had discovered their talents. Unfortunately lockdown occurred so those dreams were temporarily put aside. Understandably, no one was willing to do anything extra.
Even our best debaters were unwilling to try online debating so it was close to impossible to have online sessions, especially because they were overwhelmed with school work and juggling distance learning with a normal life. Our National Competition is at the end of January but by December 1st we were in total lockdown until May 1st 2021.
The time to sign up for Nationals came, and fortunately I could convince our more experienced debaters to join. They then said that online debating “wasn’t so bad”. They came in second nationally, which made them hungry for more. In March, we joined the Ljutomer debate which was such a big event with 600 students that our students got so excited about it. They did reasonably well and were eager to continue and we joined the Nordic Schools Debating Championship.
For the last month of school we had club meetings every week and our alumni Nicholas Shenshin, Michael Ostapenko and Erik Rojas-Hölmquist eagerly came to coach.
Now we have high expectations for fall 2021 that we will be able to be much more active and participate in international competitions live.