The 2010 war of words

The 2010 war of words

Today is the last chance to join the debating competition and show off your skills. Photos: Timothy Chui, Edward Wong and Felix Wong

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is riding to the support of this year's debating contest, writes Wong Yat-hei

The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced last week it will be sponsoring this year's Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition. The organisers of the contest are honoured to have the backing of the Jockey Club.

The launch ceremony for the 2010 competition will take place on Wednesday at the Mariners' Club in Tsim Sha Tsui. Representatives from Nesta, South China Morning Post and the Jockey Club - along with senior coaches and adjudicators from secondary schools and universities - will all be there to get things underway.

The goal of the Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition - now in its 11th year - is to nurture interest in English and debating in local schools.

It is very encouraging that the number of school teams entering the city's biggest English inter-school debating contest, has quadrupled in the last three years to more than 80.

A Jockey Club representative said: 'The Club has been very active in promoting the holistic development of young people. Through supporting the Nesta-SCMP Debate Competition, we hope that Hong Kong's young generation can widen their skills, especially their language and speaking skills, to make themselves more competitive in the job market.'

He added that the competition helps raise the younger generation's interest in public affairs and encourages them to develop a positive attitude towards society.

Reginald Chua, Editor-in-Chief of the South China Morning Post, is very excited to be co-operating with the Jockey Club.

'It's very rewarding to be collaborating with the Jockey Club in this worthwhile project which helps to foster important skills at a grass-roots level. Working with them will enable Nesta to continue its valuable work of bringing analytical and communication skills to Hong Kong's students and teachers,' he said.

'We think it's important to nurture tomorrow's leaders, and believe, by supporting this competition, we can have a positive impact on the future of Hong Kong.'

Stan Dyer, the Nesta-SCMP debating co-ordinator, is very grateful for the Jockey Club's sponsorship.

'Support from the club will go a long way to providing better prizes for teams, which partly goes into providing better equipment for the schools concerned,' he said.

He added that audience numbers had doubled in 2008, and more than doubled again last year.

'Coaches and teams in the Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition will appreciate the club's help in providing more spacious and more comfortable venues through their generous subsidy,' he said.

As the number of coaches, adjudicators and teams involved continues to grow, more training workshops will be needed for them. The Jockey Club will also provide space for these workshops.

Today is the application deadline for the 11th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition.

Students can watch large-scale demonstration debates on Wednesday, and on February 2, in Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as on March 5 at HKBU Shek Mun in Sha Tin. All debates start at 5 pm.

If you'd like to watch any of the above debates, or enter a team in the new debating competition, contact Stan Dyer as soon as possible on debating@nesta.hk

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