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ACSian Adventures at Asian Schools’ Debating Championships 2013
On the dawn of the 15th of May 2013, while most of us were just getting ready for school, three J1 debaters, Annette Yeo (1AD4), Samuel Wittberger (1AH), and Lai Shueh Chien (1AH) flew off with Mr Felix Poon and alumni, Natalie Wang of Class 2011, who acted as our coach, to Manila for the Asian School Debating Championships 2013. (ASDCs) The competition would pit 50 teams from across Asia, from Sri Lanka and Thailand all the way to the Philippines. 7 grueling preliminary rounds awaited the contestants for a shot at breaking through to the octo-finals, in an event that would take place over a week.
Despite it being the first time that two members of the team had been overseas, and the myriad differing styles of debating that were encountered over the course of the competition, the team pushed through the fast-paced competition under the leadership of team captain Samuel Wittberger, managing to win 5 out of 7 intense rounds against the best Asia had to offer. In the end with a ranking of 6th overall in the team scores ACJC made it to the Octo Finals. Here, the debates grew even more intense, with the subsequent round seeing ACJC eke out a 2-1 victory over South Ridge, but lose against Ateneo High School in the Quarter-Finals of the 2013 ASDCs. This was a win that did justice to the efforts of a brand new all JC one team. Samuel also finished as the top 4th speaker of the whole tournament.
At the event, the team gained valuable insights on debate strategy, and the friendship of debaters from around Asia. In addition, the team was treated to wonderful performances and local cuisine courtesy of the organizers, making it an extremely enriching and fulfilling journey. The team would like to thank the teachers-in-charge of the ACJC Oratorical and Debating Society, and Mr Poon in particular, for his guidance during the trip for the opportunity to attend this competition. We would also like to thank Natalie, for taking time off to coach and support us and our main coach Samuel Myatsan for all his guidance throughout the season. Finally, we give thanks and the glory to God for seeing us through, and humbly remember that the Best is Yet to Be!
Lai Shueh Chien