This August 24th to 26th, something magical happened at Rajuk Uttara Model College. School debaters, as young as 14 years old, from different schools of Bangladesh came together to debate and be judged by adjudicators who were fuelled by tea after every round.
For the 14th consecutive year, the Bangladesh Debating Council hosted the Pre-World Schools Debating Championship, the largest national debating tournament at the school level for English debate.
The tournament was hosted on the premises of Rajuk Uttara Model College and sponsored by Igloo. The closing ceremony was held at the Royal Marino Hotel in Uttara.
A total of 68 teams from across the country participated in the intellectual battle on topics ranging from international politics to contextual social issues.
With adjudication being provided by experienced veterans of the Bangladesh Debating Council, the three-day competition came to a close with Academia School named champion in the Senior category. Their team was comprised of Mahatir Mahammud, Saquib Shahzad and Aliya Fairuz.
The Mangrove School team, comprised of Nazmus Saadat, Naymisha Chowdhury and SM Toufique, was named champion in the Junior category.
Runner-up in the Senior category was Scholastica School, comprised of team members Nayara Noor, Yaman Karim and Abrar Wasi. The Maple Leaf International School team of Nafisa Nawrin Labono, Ejeta Esrat and Aritra Roy Mazumder finished as runner-up in the Junior category.
The top 30 debaters from the tournament will be invited to the prestigious national camp, a three-month bootcamp designed to ensure rigorous training and selection ahead of the World Schools Debate Championship which is to take place in Croatia next year.
The tournament witnessed a crowd catching up with life and making sense of the sport that united them, which may seem quite an ordinary sight. However, for the participants involved, the experience was a mix of jangling nerves, thrills, and potential life changes.