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Students at debate event

BSK Students In Team Kuwait At The World School Debating Championships

This summer, The British School of Kuwait (BSK) sent a five-person team to Zagreb, Croatia to take part in the prestigious World School Debating Championships (WSDC). 

Captained by current BSK Alumni Dylan Peacock, attending his second consecutive tournament, the team was made up of three BSK students and two students from KES. Rekha Ravikumar and Maria Micu, both now studying at BSK Sixth Form, attended their first WSDC tournament and conducted themselves with the professionalism that BSK is known for.

The five successful students had navigated multiple trial rounds to reach the team and so their enthusiasm was never in question. Research and preparation began immediately with weekly meetings held at BSK attended by all students. During these sessions the students were coached through speaking and responding techniques and aided in their research surrounding the pre-released ‘prepared motions’.

Having organised, trained and supervised WSDC events for over 15 years, BSK was the perfect centre for these sessions. For 2018 the responsibility was that of Richard Boyle, Debating Coordinator who was accompanied by BSK English Teacher, Fiona Morrison.

As always the event was attended by experienced and competitive nations such as Singapore, China, USA and India. Team Kuwait signaled their intentions to perform well very early on as they were the first team in six rounds to take a point from previous finalists Team England, losing out on a narrow split decision. In a debate about the use of Lethal Autonomous Weapons, closing speaker Maria Micu perfectly countered the main points raised by the opposition side and stunned an England team who would go on to the Semi-Finals of 2018.

Team Kuwait captain Dylan Peacock and BSK colleague Rekha Ravikumar would also show themselves instrumental in the two victories received by Team Kuwait. On the impromptu debate topic of ‘The perception of Motherhood in current society,’ Team Kuwait would claim a landslide victory against Team Liberia. In Round seven the research skills of Team Kuwait were put to the test as another pre-released prepared round on ‘The Belt and Road Initiative’ was debated, and Kuwait earned their second clean sweep win of the tournament beating Bosnia and Herzegovina with Captain Dylan Peacock excelling in his opening speech. 

Other debated subjects included businesses being able to own sports teams, migrant workers being allowed to vote and the rise of call-out culture. The dedication of our students was displayed through rising early, working late and arranging impromptu sparring debates with other countries across the ten-day competition.

Team Kuwait also made a name for themselves away from the academic side of the competition, being gracious opponents that brought dates as gifts for the other teams. The Team Kuwait success, both in debate and in social events, was in no small part due to the enthusiasm of the students, highlighted by the number of other teams wanting to stay in touch after the end of the tournament. 

Team Kuwait fully immersed themselves in the city of Zagreb, visiting cultural heritage sites, navigating their way through the quaint streets of the capital and showing great respect to the town and its residents. Overall the students represented the country remarkably well and made the trip a huge success. The initial selection process has begun again at BSK for WSDC 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Students of the school aged 14 onwards are putting their debating skills to good use and it is highly anticipated that next year’s Team Kuwait will once again consist of all BSK students. Well done to Team Kuwait.