Congratulations and commiserations in equal measure to Alison Balmer (S5) and Julia Duncan (S6) who represented our school in the semi-finals of the Law Society Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition here in Duncanrig. They did not make it through to the final (only one team went through out of the four competing) but acquitted themselves very well and gave the other teams a run for their money.
At this stage of competition (which we have never reached before), debaters do not know the motion until one hour before the debate starts. The motion comes through by text in a slightly ‘mission impossible’ manner. The teams have no internet access, no books and they can’t even phone a friend as they have to surrender their mobiles. In this context, they had to propose the motion that, ‘This house believes that the state should fully compensate victims of crimes committed by re-offenders’, each making a six-minute speech, taking points of information throughout. Julia then had to give a three-minute reply speech identifying the key points of clash. She did this superbly, almost entirely off-the-cuff.
It is very impressive to watch and we should be proud that not only our girls made it this far, but also that a team from St Andrews and St Brides made it to the same stage. They did not go through to the final either, but it is amazing that out of sixteen teams in Scotland, two are from East Kilbride.
As ever, after a defeat, the girls are feeling a little deflated, but they got excellent encouragement in their feedback from the adjudicators about their strengths and what they should work on.
Thanks to everyone involved; Mr Grant and Mr Gilroy for their coaching of the team, Kate Kane for time keeping, Lauren Stewart, Summer Burns and Sophie Leonard for helping with stewarding and hospitality in what was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, with about 60 people crammed into D004!