December 16, 2015
MEMBERS OF THE debate team at White Oaks Secondary School are basking in the glow of winning a national debate championship recently in Alberta.
The Oxford National Cup was held at Western Canada High School in Calgary, Alberta, in which students Kiara Hassan (Grade 10) and Dasha Metroploitansky (Grade 12) took part and captured the title. Approximately two-dozen teams participated in the mid-November event. Teams qualified for the national event based on their showing in provincial debating associations.
The Oxford National Cup used the British Parliamentary debating format, with five minute speaking times for each speaker. All rounds were based on impromptu motions. Topics included labour and technology.
Teacher Hamish Guthrie, who helps administer the school’s debate team, is very proud of the result and the hard work of Hassan and Metroploitansky. Guthrie particularly enjoys the camaraderie that comes through debating.
“The debates room at school is a place where teams form and practise together and make friendships that go with them to post secondary," Guthrie said. “A parent once said to me she noticed the way the composure, keenness, power of reasoning and ability to listen and respond can help students to mature.”
Hassan said she is drawn to public speaking.
“I love to perform in front of audiences. I try to look at many perspectives on a certain issue, and understand that although some people may not see the same as I do on a topic, their views are just as legitimate. I also love debate because of the amazing connections and friendships I've made.”
Said Metroploitansky: “Participating in debating has been a tremendously enriching experience. It has given me first-hand experience with different cultures, perspectives and argumentation styles. Debating has taught me to cherish the differences of opinions and to appreciate the beauty of a carefully-constructed argument.”