S. Anselm's

A full boarding and day school for boys and girls from Nursery to 16

Boarders' Debating Evening: This House believes that contact should be removed from school sport

Boarders' Debating Evening: This House believes that contact should be removed from school sport

‘This House believes that contact should be removed from school sport’.

On Friday 6th October, this motion was carried as the Proposition fought for contact to be removed from school sport in the Boarders’ Debating Evening.

Twenty-two boarders were involved in the debate, which took place on Friday evening. At 7pm, we met in the candlelit dining hall for our evening’s events. On one side of the grand table sat the proposition and on the other side sat the opposition who were trying to persuade the other team and adjudicating team to keep contact in sport. The adjudicating panel was Mr Shepherd, Miss Cooper and Mr Percival. Everyone was dressed smartly and the speakers had prepared their speeches during the previous four days.

The children spoke impressively; confidence and determination oozed out of every single speaker and best of all it was a team effort. It was really pleasing to see the team players who were not chosen key speakers getting involved in the questions and when it came to the open debate.

The debate was opened by Isobel E who was the first speaker of the proposition, arguing that contact should be taken out of school sport. She based her arguments on the NHS and how doctors and nurses should be taking care of those people who are ill or have been injured through daily life occurrences. Sammy U was first up for the opposition and was keen to keep contact in sport. He believed that if safety in the sport was taught from an early age it would be far safer than beginning contact later on in life. Sammy impressively had lots of quotes and had clearly done his research. Charlotte also mentioned that in rugby there is a position for everybody, due to the scrum, whereas touch rugby is a game for athletes. At this point Daisy L, captain of the proposition made an attempt to clarify what ‘contact’ meant in sport, rather than going to the nth  degree and taking the ball out of netball for fear it might make contact with the head causing concussion.

Daisy L and Tilly G were next up for the proposition and they brought statistics into the game. Very few actually go on to play professionally or indeed after education and concussion rates were getting worse by the year.  At this point, there was debate as to whether it should be the parents who decide whether their children should be allowed to play contact sports or the children themselves. The third speakers, in favour of the opposition were Amelia E and Georgina S. They believed that children were being wrapped up in cotton wool and actually what children get out of contact sports is far greater than the injury risk.

A delicious meal, fajitas and garlic dough balls followed by Eton mess was enjoyed and the debate continued in a more fluid manner. The children had all really bought into their motions and done their research. The lemonade flowed and afterwards we all enjoyed the reply speeches from both teams. Katie S and Niamh O’B spoke convincingly and Lizzie R, Phoebe W and Vladimir P rebutted with some excellent points. Vladimir got personal with his experiences in Russia playing Ice Hockey.

All in all the evening was superb. The boys and girls were an absolute pleasure to spend the evening with and their debating skills have drastically improved. The proposition were delighted to win the debate after the adjudicators scored it 2-1 to the proposition.

We are all looking forward to next term’s debate. Thank you to all who were involved!

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