Cirencester College Debating Team are Champions of the Central Regional Finals

Congratulations to Cirencester Sixth Form College’s Debating Society, who have made it through to the National Finals of the Debating Matters competition, after being crowned Central Regional Final Champions. The event was held at Leicester University, where 6 schools and colleges from the middle of England battled it out for a place in the national finals.

Annabel Hill and Tom Schaffner went first, debating for the motion, ‘There should be tougher regulations on the sharing economy’. Chilwell School debated against the motion. The judging panel concluded that Annabel and Tom formulated a well delivered presentation and worked extremely well together, rating their research as exemplary.
Annabel said, “We were initially very nervous, as it was one of the first competitions, however our confidence grew as we got into our debates. The run up to the competition, with all the preparation, then the whole experience of the day was intellectually stimulating. Our hard work as a team paid off, and I can’t wait to represent Cirencester College in the National Finals; it’s going to be incredible!”
Tom added, “I am so happy about adding to the college’s success in the competition. This win has energised us to work even harder for the Nationals!”

Brad Frankham and Karrie Mead competed in Round Two, debating against the motion, ‘Political parties are bad for democracy,’ competing against Leicester Grammar School. The judges praised the quality of the Cirencester team and their ability to build on one another’s points during questioning.

Brad said that he found it “daunting, but loads of fun. We are a really strong team, and all very excited to have gone through to the national finals.” Karrie added, “The standard was so high yesterday, and that was strongly reflected in the level of debating throughout. I loved the day and can’t wait for the national competition”.
The Debating Society of Cirencester College made it through to the final debate against Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, with Lydia Zioupos and Torin Brown arguing for the motion ‘The constant monitoring of our health does more harm than good’. This was a fierce debate, with the judges giving nothing away in their closing comments about who had won. The judges concluded that both teams had done extraordinarily well and should be proud of what they had achieved.

Eventually, Cirencester College were awarded the title, winner of the Central Regional Finals, meaning that the college has one of the top 12 debating teams in the country. This was not the end of the awards for Cirencester, as Lydia Zioupos was presented with the Best Individual Award from all debates and the six colleges and schools competing.

Lydia was ecstatic, saying “I genuinely cannot believe we have reached the national finals! I am very excited and so proud of the whole team. Thank you to Dan and Sara for all your help and support.”
Torin was equally enthusiastic; “Entering Debating Matters with my college has been one of the best experiences of my life. Through our Debating team at college, I have made some amazing friends and increased my knowledge on so many topics. This competition has been very intense, but it’s all paid off! I’m very excited to compete alongside my amazing team and to see what our opponents bring to the Finals.”

The victorious students all agreed they would not have been able to do this without the help and support of their fellow student researchers. These included Caroline Brodersen, Erin Woodend, Georgia Morgan, Beth Smith, Sophie Ashman and Alirio McCalla.

The students were led by Law lecturer, Daniel Nield and English lecturer, Sara Jennings, who are dedicated to promote and develop students’ transferrable skills ready for university or the world of work. The National Finals will take place on 30th June – 2nd July 2017 in London, good luck Cirencester!

For more information please contact