At 7.15am on Saturday 3 March, four Year 13 students boarded the minibus with Mr Senior, Director of Sixth Form, to make the hour and a half journey to attend the Cambridge Union Final.
Two teams won places at the final. The first team were made of Sara Dehvari and Haider Nazerali. Our second team was Salem Ali and Akira Alman. Both teams had won a place at this much coveted final consisting of only 36 teams from all over the world. To win their place in the earlier debating rounds they had beaten prestigious independent and selective schools including Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Watford Grammar School for Boys, John Lyons School and Merchant Taylors’ School.
It was a long day consisting of four preliminary rounds, with 15 minutes’ preparation time for each. They debated a range of motions, the most challenging being ‘This house supports pre-entry closed shops’ in which Sara and Haider came second. They went on to win the next round when debating ‘This house as the US Democratic Party would campaign to repeal the Second Amendment.’
Sara commented, “This was my third Oxbridge Finals day and, as my last, this was certainly the most memorable.” Haider, who joined KHS Sixth Form principally so he could be part of a thriving and successful Debating Society, added, “The Cambridge Final was my eighth competition this year and, at this event, we competed against some of the best debaters in the country, if not the world. Getting to 14th place was a fantastic achievement.” Salem added, “It was a great event in my final year in the school and all the weekly practices paid off to help me get into this final.”
Just being at this final was an amazing achievement as the best debaters in the world were at the event, some flying from as far as Canada, Sri Lanka and Singapore. Some of the debaters were in National Squads and debated for their country. Thanks to Mr Mitchell for running the weekly practice debates and for organising and attending so many competitions throughout the year.