Bring it on

Bring it on

The 14th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition Grand Final has finally arrived. Today the champions of the 1A and 2A divisions will be decided at Hong Kong's City University.

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From left: Division 1A contestants Maxine Law, Sakura Lee, and Zachary Tong from CCC Kei Yuen College; Sarah Tse, Isaac Sham, and Natalie Cheung from Stewards Pooi Kei College.
From left: Division 1A contestants Maxine Law, Sakura Lee, and Zachary Tong from CCC Kei Yuen College; Sarah Tse, Isaac Sham, and Natalie Cheung from Stewards Pooi Kei College.
Photos: Thomas Yau/SCMP
After many hard-fought rounds, 12 top debaters have been selected to participate in the grand finals of the 14th Nesta-SCMP debating competition. Everyone is going to give all they have to bring home the championship. Young Post talked to the 12 finalists about their preparations and expectations

Motion for the final debate: Young people in Hong Kong are growing up in a society which encourages negative attitudes towards people from the mainland.


Meet the finalists

Division 1A


CCC Kei Yuen College (Affirmative side)

Zachary Tong (Form Five)

Debating since: 2011
Winning strategies: Good team work is key to debating, and this is the strategy our team has been applying. We also present our ideas clearly and powerfully.
Expectations for the finals: I want to win, as it's probably my last debate for my secondary school. But even if we lose, I won't be upset, because getting into the Grand Final already proves our ability!

Maxine Law (Form Five)

Debating since: 2012
Winning strategies: Before the debate, we listen carefully to our team advisers and to each other. We always trust each other and work together. It's also important never to look down upon your opponents.
Expectations for the finals: I want to win! But the primary aim for me is to learn from this debate and enjoy it.

Sakura Lee (Form Five)

Debating since: 2011
Winning strategies: Being humble is key. As the old saying goes: "pride goes before a fall." Team spirit is also essential, as we have to trust and help each other.
Expectations for the finals: If I told you I didn't care about winning, I would be lying. Last year, my senior teammates and I made it to the semi-final; but unfortunately, we stopped there. So this time I have promised myself that I must win.


Stewards Pooi Kei College (Negative side)

Sarah Tse (Form Four)

Debating since:2011
Winning strategies: Our team spirit helps us a lot. We are not only teammates, but friends. We support one another a lot outside of debating as well.
Expectations for the finals: This debate is the chance of a lifetime, so I hope that I can perform the best I ever have.

Isaac Sham (Form Five)

Debating since: 2008
Winning strategies: Calmness is of prime importance during a debate. You need to be very clear about what you have heard, and try to find out if there are any misconceptions.
Staying calm helps you to organise the content you want to deliver, which leads to victory.
Expectations for the finals: Even if we don't win, this debate will offer me the chance to polish my debating skills.

Natalie Cheung (Form Five)

Debating since: 2008
Winning strategies: Our team spirit is great. We help and encourage each other during debates. Working as one is important for a win.
Expectations for the finals: I really hope we can improve on what we lacked before. I expect us to be able to overcome our fears and perform confidently.


Division 2A

Stewards Pooi Kei College (Affirmative side)

Saturnia Hung (Form Three)

Debating since: 2011
Winning strategies: Our strong critical thinking abilities help us give good rebuttals. We also have very good team spirit.

Michelle Lo (Form Three)

Debating since: 2011
Winning strategies: The best strategy is to work out everything together. Many brains can think of different ideas, and this helps a lot. For rebuttals, nerves can get the better of us, and then we need each other's help. It's also important to prepare well: study your script, and practise lots.
Expectations for the finals: We never expected to go this far, so if we lose it's fine - we already did our best.

Sherry Au (Form Three)

Debating since: 2011
Winning strategies:We try to relax so that we won't feel stressed. That way we can perform better.
Expectations for the finals: I want us to win the championship and to do better than our last performance.


Hoi Ping Chamber of Commerce Secondary School (Negative side)

Raymond Chung (Form Four)

Debating since: 2012
Winning strategies:The whole team tries to be well prepared for every round. I think we are realistic, and try not to put too much pressure on ourselves, so we can give our best when it's needed.
Expectations for the finals: Stretching myself to the utmost in the debate will be great. We want to live up to our own, as well as our schoolmates', expectations.

Angel Li (Form Four)

Debating since:2008
Winning strategies: I prepare possible rebuttals thoroughly and practise reading my speech fluently. And I don't hesitate to ask advice from different people.
Expectations for the finals: I expect it to be a high-spirited competition during which I will gain a lot of valuable experience. I am excited but nervous, as it will be the first time I debate in front of a really big audience.

Tony Fung (Form Four)

Debating since: 2012
Winning strategies: It's important to do adequate research, and have coherent arguments and fluent rebuttals.
Expectations for the finals: I just want us to give it our best shot. I also hope that I can further improve my debating skills.


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