Tag Archives: WSDC 2010

HK debate team gets workout


From Young Post, South China Morning Post on 23rd April 2010.

The Hong Kong debating team (from left) Benjamin Allen, Annette Chau, team coach Greg Forse, Prakash Sanker, Heather Pickerell, Paul Lau and teacher Michael Evershed.

While people in Hong Kong were celebrating the Lunar New Year, the Hong Kong debating team was proudly carrying the Bauhinia across the globe to Doha, Qatar, for the 22nd World Schools Debating Championship 2010.
Although the team lost in the Octofinals, it was a rewarding experience. After two gruelling rounds of selection in Hong Kong, six team members were eventually chosen – five to compete and one reserve. Captain Benjamin Allen (La Salle College), Annette Chau (Sha Tin College), Prakash Sanker (South Island School), Heather Pickerell (German Swiss International School) and Paul Lau (South Island School) were joined by reserve Arthur Chan (Li Po Chun United World College) after the final trial on October 4 last year.

The team coach was Greg Forse – a long-time professional who gave his time up to train the team. He was the coach in the Washington debate in 2008 and a debater in the Calgary debate in 2005. His guidance and support were crucial to the team. Managing and organising the team was Michael Evershed, a veteran English teacher from South Island School and a former debater, who also helped in training the team.

The championship is a well-respected event, and brings together teams from all over the world to debate on a variety of topics, ranging from motions focused on current affairs to those speculating the theoretical. The five-member teams have one hour to prepare and three are chosen to debate. Each speech lasts eight minutes, with a reply speech of four minutes. Points of information, which allow the opposing team to interrupt a speaker, are also allowed.

Hong Kong has an excellent track record of always ‘breaking’ – moving to the knockout stages after the eight preliminaries – as well as being ranked among the top 16 teams in the world. However, the team was hard pressed to keep that record with 57 countries competing and surprisingly strong teams from countries such as India and Sri Lanka. Hong Kong did manage to break in 16th position, narrowly beating South Korea. In the end it was Hong Kong’s 6,075.5 points against Korea’s 6,072. The team took part in 13 debates – nine official and four informal spar debates with other countries, including Israel, Indonesia and Korea.

Of the eight preliminaries, Hong Kong had four prepared debates against Chile, Germany, Bulgaria and Mongolia, while our impromptu motions were against Wales, Bermuda, Singapore and Slovenia. With solid performances, especially in the first debate against Chile where Hong Kong was, by points, the best team in the world on that motion, we gained a perfect score of four unanimous wins for the four prepared debates. But in the impromptu rounds, we faced some serious opposition from Singapore, Slovenia and Wales, which we all lost by close margins.

We faced Australia in the Octofinals, where we were knocked out. But in their last performances on the world stage in high school debating, Annette and Prakash gave speakers ranked No. 1, 2 and 4 in the world a hard time. The debate was called ‘An unconvincing win for Australia’ by a Qatari newspaper.

In an epic final battle between Canada and England, Canada emerged as the world champions this year, winning 8-3 on the motion ‘We should never bail out big companies’. After not sending a team last year, encouraged by this year’s results and looking forward to next year’s event in Scotland, team Hong Kong is already gearing up.

Debate HK, an organisation headed by Forse, has been getting more support.

RESULTS: WSDC 2010 Final Results


WSDC 2010 Logo

Following the conclusion of World Schools Debating Championship 2010, the numbers are in, the results crunched and the final rankings decided. Here they are courtesy of the organizers at WSDC Charity.


R1: That we should support Military Intervention in Somalia
R2: That we should make physical education compulsory in schools
R3: That every Country should have the right to possess Nuclear Weapons
R4: That we should support quotas for women in high government positions
R5: That Doctors should report evidence of Martial Abuse to the police
R6: That developing nations should have the right to give priority to development ahead of the environment
R7: That Terrorist suspects should have the right to a Trial in Civilian courts
R8: That we should legalise performance enhancing drugs
OF: That we should have no law restricting freedom of speech
QF: That compensation should be paid for the injustices committed by past generations
SF: That the United States should withdraw from the Middle East
GF : That Governments should Never Bail out Big Companies


You can find the results for each individual round here.
See how the 16 teams progressed during the Knockout Stages.

Team Rankings

Hong Kong was ranked 16th overall, having made it to the octo-finals.
Hong Kong broke 16h with 5 wins, 16 judges, 6074.5 points




Hong Kong Individual Results (as stated in the top 100)

  • 39 – Heather Pickerell – 4 – 72.583
  • 40 – Ben Allen – 5 – 72.467
  • 45 – Paul Lau – 4 – 72.333
  • 50 – Annette Chau – 4 – 72.250
  • 60 – Prakash Sanker – 7 – 72.048

R1: Chile 0 – Hong Kong 3
R2: Hong Kong 1 – Wales 2
R3: Hong Kong 3 – Germany 0
R4: Bermuda 1 – Hong Kong 2
OF: Australia 5 – Hong Kong 0

WSDC 2010 – Team Hong Kong


Between the 8th and 18th of February, nearly 300 secondary students from 57 countries will converge on Doha, Qatar for the annual World School Debating Championship also known as WSDC.

Amongst the cut-throat competition will be five Hong Kong students with coach Mr. G Forse and team manager Mr. M Everhsed. Throughout those two weeks, the team of Ben Allen (La Salle College), Annette Chau (Sha Tin College), Paul Lau (South Island School), Heather Pickerell (German Swiss International School) and Prakash Sanker (South Island School), will travel from Hong Kong to Doha in order to enter into a battle of words with the best of the world. Our competition will include defending champions New Zealand, powerhouses Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Canada as well as other countries including Mainland China, Germany, South Korea, Singapore and many more.

Following a tough selection at the end of 2009, the team underwent intensive training under the guidance of former national debater Mr. G Forse. Over the last three months, the team met regularly for numerous practice debates, intensive research sessions and sleepless nights preparing for the toughest international debating competition of its kind.

After months of preparation, the team looks set and read to jump over the seas and engage in the tough competition. Whilst nothing is guaranteed, the team hopes to reach new heights for Hong Kong debating in what is sure to be a memorable experience.

Paul Lau (HK WSDC Team Member)

People :

Ben Allen (La Salle College)
Annette Chau (Sha Tin College)
Paul Lau (South Island School)
Heather Pickerell (German Swiss International School)
Prakash Sanker (South Island School)

Gerg Forse (Coach)
M. Evershed (Manager)

Brief :

After a difficult selection trial, a team of five students composed of Heather Pickerell, Paul Lau, Prakash Sanker, Ben Allen and Annette Chau came together to form a strange collection of individuals. From swimmers to runners, soloist singers and aspiring dancers, the Hong Kong team is full of diverse, strange and weird people. In actual fact, the ‘Hong Kong National’ team is composed of individuals from America, Canada, India, England and Australia… oh, did we mention we come from China? There’s the gaffe prone, hamburger eating champion in Heather and the runner, dancer and unstoppable Prakash. Then there’s Ben who represents Hong Kong in both debating and swimming having stolen the tallest of the crowd award. Starting together at the bottom, we have veteran Annette who returns to World’s action after a year’s break – she rarely loses her way in speeches, but does so on a regular basis in daily life! Paul on the other hand is just the opposite, seeming to know way too much about everything and everyone after tapping away on his computer. Then there is the manager Mr. Evershed, the “happy” debater who is joined by Greg Forse, a double agent juggling a double life.

Draw :

R1: Somalia – Opp – Chile
R2: Impromptu – Prop – Wales
R3: Nuclear – Prop – Germany
R4: Impromptu – Opp – Bermuda
R5: Marital Abuse – Prop – Bulgaria
R6: Impromptu – Opp – Singapore
R7: Terrorist – Opp – Mongolia
R8: Impromptu – Prop – Slovenia

Photos :

Hong Kong Delegation

Hong Kong Delegation (Left to Right) : M Eershed (Manager), Heather Pickerell, Paul Lau, Prakash Sanker, Annette Chau, Ben Allen, Gerg Forse (Coach)

Hong Kong Debaters

Hong Kong Debaters (Left to Right) : Heather Pickerell (GSIS), Paul Lau (SIS) , Prakash Sanker (SIS), Annette Chau (STC), Ben Allen (LSC)