In January 2023 we held a local heat of the national Rotary debating competition – Youth Speaks a Debate.  The event saw teams from The King’s School Chester and Christleton High School compete at the Parkgate Campus, University of Chester.

There were two age groups: intermediate for those aged 11-13, and senior for 14-17-year-olds. Each team of three was made up of a chair who opened and summarised the debate, a proposer who spoke in favour of a motion, and an opposer who spoke against it.  In addition, the teams fielded a question from the audience, requiring them to have a knowledge of their subject and an ability to construct an answer and justify their position.

Debate subjects included:

    • Helicopter parents are damaging their children
    • David Beckham should have his OBE and CBE removed for promoting the 2022 Football World
      Cup in Qatar
    • Should artifacts that have been looted be returned to their countries of origin?
    • We should use fossil fuels now to tackle the cost of living crisis
    • Should private education be abolished?

Our judges were Christine Frey, Rev Maureen Pickering, Prof Mark Bendall and Helen Cooper.  They assessed the student’s performances and provided feedback on their public speaking skills.  Christine is a member of the Chester Speaking Club, and we thank them for providing debate expertise.  We must also thank the University for providing the room and refreshments on the day.

The morning (intermediate) round was won by The King’s School first team, and in the afternoon the senior debate went to Christleton High.  Both teams will now represent their schools, and Rotary Chester, in the District heat.  We hope that they progress further, perhaps even to the final of the competition.

We hope to run this competiton annually, and extend it to more schools next year.  The competition is open to all schools and college communities and those who are home educated along with any other young peoples’ community organisations, for example, community RotaKids, community Interact, Scout Groups and Girl information pack.

If your school or organisation would like to take part, please email for 2024 entry details.











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