Good start for debaters

Tameez Jhetam

Jeppe’s debating teams showed last weekend that we have talented boys in all areas of school life.

The debating club has grown in size – we entered three senior teams in league competition at the weekend – and they are working very hard at their chosen activity, under the leadership of staff member Ms Sashquita Northey.

Last weekend the senior and junior teams competed in an SACEE meeting at St Mary’s School. The 1st team won all three debates they were in, against King David Victory Park and St John’s A and B teams. The second team won two of their three debates and the thirds won one and lost two.

The junior team, in their first outing, beat Roedean and Fourways.

Tameez Jhetam, our captain of debating, believes success comes from a combination of being able to think on your feet and thorough preparation.

“You typically only know the topic one hour before you begin, so your arguments are pretty spontaneous,” he said. “But we do spend one of our two weekly practices looking at current affairs events, trying to anticipate which one they will feature and reading and discussing those.

“It’s a good bet that the topic will be on the economy, politics are some current topic affecting society. I have to admit that we have been quite lucky in guessing so far.”

The other practice is spent honing their craft. “We concentrate on format, on developing a personal style and on delivery,” Tameez says. “Ms Northey has been very helpful to all of us in those areas.”

It’s been a good start, Tamez said, but there’s a long season ahead of them. “The main thing is that we are learning all the time, and everyone is enjoying it.”