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Bratislava Schools Debating Championship

From the 30 March to 3 April 2017, the ACJC Debate and Oratorical Society participated in the annual international Bratislava Schools Debating Competition, an tourney tournament hosted in the capital of Slovakia with participants from around the world. 

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The team representing ACJC in Bratislava comprised team captain Tara Tiwary (2SD1), Johan Ding (2AH), Timothy Ng (2SA1), Claudia Binny (1AD1), and Jolene Loh (1MD5). This year’s tournament featured forty teams from countries such as South Africa, Germany, Israel, Czech Republic, and Romania as well as international schools such as United World College with students from the United States and Canada. Over the course of 8 rounds, the team fought their way to secure a spot in the Grand Finals, after debating a range of motions regarding exigent issues, such as whether minorities should actively reject art depicting their struggle in which they did not have a significant creative role (quarter-finals) and whether the Democrats should impeach Donald Trump immediately (semi-finals). 

We are proud to announce that ACJC emerged overall champions of the tournament after an exhilarating Grand Final, in which the team beat the team from Romania on a unanimous 7-0 decision, over the motion: ‘This House would not use cultural compatibility as a criterion when assessing immigration applications’. Aside from being the first time ACJC has won the tournament since 2012 and breaking Romania’s four-year win streak, the team also achieved stellar individual results: Tara Tiwary ranked as the 2nd best speaker, and Johan Ding ranked as the 10th best speaker of the tournament that had 220 participants from 15 different countries.

Above and beyond the accolades and awards, the team has gained an immense amount of experience and greatly improved not only our debating finesse, but also our understanding of the complex world around us. Furthermore, the tournament was a wonderful opportunity for the team to learn about a tapestry of diverse cultures, and to make new friends with fellow debaters from all over the globe. We fondly remember the country exposition that allowed us to immerse ourselves in the cultural practices and traditions from a variety of distant and far-flung countries. 

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This astounding result and unforgettable experience would not have been possible without the help of a number of people. The team would like to thank our Principal, Ms. Beatrice Chong and the college management for their continued support of the Debate and Oratorical Society, and the opportunity to represent ACJC on the international stage. We would also like to wholeheartedly thank the teachers-in-charge of the society for their constant guidance, and in particular Mr Kumuthan Martheya for managing the team’s trip to Bratislava and looking after us over the course of the competition in a foreign country. The team would also like to extend our thanks to our coach Samuel Myat San for working tirelessly with us and guiding us every step of the way, as well as the club for all its constant encouragement. Last but not least, the team would like to thank God for His providence and blessing throughout this entire tournament. 

To God be the Glory, the Best is yet to Be!