27 Apr 2022

Debaters Named Top 10 at ISSIA British Parliamentary Debate Tournament

Members of the Debate team achieved the prestigious “Top 10 Speakers Award” out of over 50 participants at the inaugural ISSIA British Parliamentary Debate Tournament, held on  23 April 2022.

Designed by students, the ISSIA British Parliamentary Debate Tournament strives to provide a unique, meaningful and engaging experience for the participants, and to cultivate the next generation of changemakers through developing international mindfulness.

From addressing the issues facing youth, criminalising the use of racial slurs as hate speech, to exploring approaches to handle the abuse of drugs, Island School debate representatives competed in intense rounds of debate in the championship consisting of 20 teams across a wide range of Hong Kong local and international schools.

After three rounds of fierce debate, Varun Suresh (11F), Peter Yoon (10D) and Luciano Suen (10D) achieved fantastic results, placing 4th, 6th, and 8th overall respectively. Island School Team 1 was also one of the Top 10 Teams in the competition. This is an incredibly remarkable achievement considering the number of participants present.

Peter was delighted about his achievement, “This was my first debate competition, so it was honestly very daunting. I was surprised to find my name in the ‘Top 10 Speakers Award’ as I feel like I didn’t do my best – I’ll try to get a higher rank next time when I’m at my best!”

“The competition was very fierce, and there were many great debaters in the competition. I was very lucky to have a place in the Top 10, as I believed I spoke pretty sub-averagely, and could not muster a higher score. Thanks to Peter for persevering despite the challenges,” exclaimed Luciano.

“Honestly, I was initially reluctant to sign up for the competition due to upcoming exams, but after 20 minutes of speaking and watching other talented speakers perform, I’m confident in calling it a worthwhile experiment!” said Varun.

Mr Darryl Hood, Head of Debate & Public Speaking, said, “This being the last debate competition of the academic year for Island School students to participate in, the levels of enthusiasm and commitment from the participants are to be admired. Congratulations to all, and particularly to our three top ten speakers – a fantastic achievement!”

The Island School Debate Representatives:

  • Team 1: Peter Yoon (10D), Luciano Suen (10D)
  • Team 2: Roel Leung (8D), Varun Suresh (11F)
  • Team 3: Nicholas Chan (7R), Nicholas Tsang (9E), Vincy Lung (7W)
  • Team 4: Seung June Yoon (7F), Bobby Li (7E)
  • Adjudicators: Clement Kwan (11R), Hannah Lee (11R)

Island School students were also involved in the designing and shaping of this experience. As ISSIA’s Debate & MUN Coordinators, Clement Kwan (11R) and Alexander Bray (12W), along with other members of the ISSIA Events & Programs Team, spearheaded the organisation of this competition, putting together detailed resources for students and adjudicators alike.

“It was a really exciting experience, I’m very grateful to have been given such an opportunity to have to lead this alongside my co-head Alexander. Not only was I able to learn how to be organisers for such an important event, but I was able to learn more about debating as a whole, ” said Clement.

Led by Mr Darryl Hood, Sam Hui (12W) and Charlie Lam (12E), Debate & Public Speaking Club strives to amplify student agency through fostering their talent in communication and public speaking techniques. Students have also considered the importance of respecting and embracing diverse opinions and what it means to be critical and creative thinkers. They attended workshops to further their understanding of what it means to be a confident speaker.

Article by the Debate Team