After winning their semi-final this week as the affirmative on ‘School examinations should be banned’, Junior A Somerset 3 will compete in this year’s Gold Coast Debating Grand Final at Bond University Saturday 16 October.

Grand Finalists - Junior A SOM 3

Ayla Chirathivat-Geralds
Emily Nickels
Mia Richards
Abigail Brinkworth
Noa Chester-Haviv

It was at the start of the year when a group of stubborn and argumentative friends decided to try something new. It was at the start of the year when Gold Coast Debating’s Junior A SOM 3 team was created. We did not join Debating having many expectations, other than the late Wednesday afternoons, 'us time', a break from stressful school, and a couple of hours to be in a safe, creative space where being stubborn and argumentative was not seen as annoying, but as prized traits. 
It was during the training sessions and when the first round of debates came along that we all thought, “Hey, we’re actually kind of good at this!” We would never have guessed, however, that we would be winning our Semi Final debate and become one of only two remaining teams in all of the Gold Coast left in the Junior A competition! We are all so grateful for this opportunity and no matter what happens in the Grand Finals, we are so happy that we have made it this far.

In my opinion, the best part of debating is not the new eye-opening perspectives, interesting topics or even learning valuable skills but the people you get to meet and know better. It is the kind and instructive coaches, challenging opponents, adjudicators with great feedback, the supportive audience, and most importantly your team that makes debating so rewarding. 

The team you join may have someone like-minded who, without this opportunity, you might not have spoken to before. Before you know it, you become great friends. Or it might be a team of established friends that are looking for an opportunity to spend more time together. Whatever the case, I think these reasons alone are good enough to try out debating. Why not give it a go next year? 

So, whatever your story is, whether you have had a passion for debating from a young age, or just want to get better at convincing your parents, I deeply encourage you to find a group of compatible friends and create a debating team like we did, or meet new friends who share your passion. Who knows, you might even go higher than you ever thought you could. 

Good luck!

Thank you so much to Miss (Kate) Coombes (our coach – a lawyer!) and Ms Lynch for always being so supportive and pushing us to think beyond the expectations. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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