Teamwork key to Kau Yan's win

Teamwork key to Kau Yan's win

Buddhist Tai Kwong Chi Hong College no match for their better-prepared rivals in debate on animals shows

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Kau Yan College students (from left) Cherie Lai, Regina Cheung and Kenneth Cheng Man-kit performed well as a team and their presentation was better.
Kau Yan College students (from left) Cherie Lai, Regina Cheung and Kenneth Cheng Man-kit performed well as a team and their presentation was better.
Photo: Edward Wong
Kau Yan College showed that teamwork does matter as they defeated Buddhist Tai Kwong Chi Hong College in the third round of the 12th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition. The schools debated the motion: "public, performing animal shows are beneficial." Tai Kwong Chi Hong were the affirmative side while Kau Yan opposed the motion.

Nick White, an English teacher from SKH Chan Young Secondary School, was the adjudicator at the debate held last Tuesday. White said Kau Yan deserved to win because they performed well as a team and their presentation was better.

He said: "First speaker from the negative side, Cherie Lai Wing-sze [a Form Six student], did a great job using rhetorical questions which is a very effective way to present ideas in a debate. All three spoke with confidence and had good pace."

Kau Yan's second speaker, Regina Cheung Mei-yee, was praised for good presentation of evidence. White said: "Regina mentioned about animal shows promoting bullying and it is unnatural for animals to perform which is a strong point."

Despite the loss, Tai Kwong Chi Hong's third speaker, Ada Chik Wan-yiu, was named the best speaker. White praised the Form Six student's strong rebuttals and said she did a good job summarising the team's case. "Ada made good gestures and was exceptionally good at getting not only the adjudicator but also the audience involved. The purpose of a debate is to convince the audience," he said.

White also praised the affirmative side's catchy team line. "The affirmative's team line - 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' - is very interesting. [It demonstrates] that humans looking after endangered animals is beneficial," he said.

Tai Kwong Chi Hong suggested that endangered animals are better off being in captivity to ensure their survival. They said it is a win-win situation for both the animals and humans. The animals get to live safely while humans can learn more about wild life, they added.

Kau Yan pointed out it was cruel and unnatural for captive animals to perform. They said such shows destroyed the animals' natural instincts and showed complete disregard for nature.

Regina cited cases of animals being injured or killed while performing and animals killing their trainer and hurting crowds watching the shows.

The contest is organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post.

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