We have been sitting on this report on the St. Conleth’s French Debating Team by Maria Azzia for weeks and we have no excuse for the delay, except that we just can’t take our eyes off France 24. Maria, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Porzadny, je suis désolé!
On the 18th of October, the St. Conleth’s French debate team had its first competition of the year. After a few weeks of preparation, together with the help of Mr. Porzadny, Mr. Conroy and Ms. Sheppard, we arrived at the Alliance Française ready to talk. The team’s captain was Oisín Dowling and the other members of the team were Alex Murphy, Conor Power and me, but we also got helped by Simon Pettitt and Tony Barry, who, even if they didn’t have the chance to debate, helped us with our speeches and were very supportive.
The motion we had to support was “Il faudrait interdire les zoos”: “Zoos should be forbidden”. During the two weeks of preparation to the debate, we thought of all the points in favor of the motion, we decided who would have focused on which one, we worked on our speeches, we ran through them and we gave each other advice. Mr. Conroy, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Sheppard have been very important during this process, since they helped us with the French grammar, the pronunciation, the content of our speeches and they gave us advice about our stage presence in front of the judges and the audience.
Every Thursday we had meetings to improve what we wrote and finally the long-awaited Wednesday arrived. The opposing team was the Dominican College Sion Hill. I could feel that tension was a common ground for both the teams before, during and after the debate. Our team did an amazing job: our points were always coherent to the motion, we had a good stage presence, we rebutted efficiently what the other team said and our rebuttals were appropriate as well. But our opponents were quite good too.
At the end the president of the Alliance Française declared the winners and we weren’t really happy to hear that the winner was the Sion Hill College. The president also said that we were really close to winning, but I think we didn’t leave that room with a complete defeat, but with a reason to get up again and keep working.
We lost the competition but we didn’t lose our desire to keep debating and improving our French, so we’re not giving up on meeting and working on it. This experience, despite its duration, has been important for us and very useful, because it helped us giving us advice for our future and made us grow.