World Schools Debating Championships - Atény 2009

My name is Mária Fujková and I was a member of the Slovak national delegation to the World Schools Debating Championships, held in Athens in February 2009.

As the World Championships is the most prestigious debate competition for students of secondary schools, it is also the most competitive one and national teams engage in rigorous preparation. I was expected to attend several meetings and I also believe that participation in the Interanational Debate Weekend in Slovenia, Tallinn Open in Estonia, European Youth Speak in Amsterdam helped me a lot.

Finally, the day “D” came and we took a plane ,similarly as 300 students from around the world, heading to Athens. The championships take place each year in a different country-recent venues include Sydney, Johannesburg, Singapore and London.

The topics for debate inluded the use of civilian nuclear energy, pros and cons of genetic screening, the controversial issue of returning cultural treasures to the countries of their origin and wheather public services are best run by private companies. Out of all ESL teams who played in this cathegory, our team became in first ten.

I believe that WSDC wasn’t just a tournament- it was a wonderful experience for all of us and also a great place for the promotion of multicultural dialogue, because we were able to meet and interact with young people from other countries. I was competing with students from India, USA, South Korea, Israel, Ireland, Chile, Japan and Estonia. Let me finish with Mr. Stefanopoulos quotation “Argumentation, an essential element of persuasive speaking and of the art of oratory, is a crucial element of any democratic process. It is also a basic skill so that we can adress, with the aid of logic, issues of global importance that affect the future of human society.”

Mária Fujková

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