Presidents Cup 2012

On Saturday 13th October SOAS competed in the Presidents Cup. The Presidents Cup is the first tournament of the debating season, over 200 debaters from all over the uk take part. 40 students applied to represent SOAS, of those, 8 were selected.

SOAS did fantastically well and all of the SOAS speakers performed incredibly well:

  • Charles Reuben Brook and Peter McKean made the final.
  • Andreas Bjorklund and Sam Wheldon-Bayes made the semi finals.
  • Peter McKean was the highest ranked speaker in the tournament
  • Emily Judson was ranked 4th best speaker (novice tab)

It looks like we are going to have a great season this year! Below are some photos and quotes from SOAS debaters who took part in the Presidents Cup 2012.

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If you are reading this blog and have not signed up to do a competition we strongly suggest that you do so!  It is a lot of fun, and it is  the best way to improve as a debater.

” The UCL Presidents Cup was a fantastic experience! Spending the whole day debating as part of the SOAS team was great for my debating skills and a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to future tournaments and would definitely recommend them to other beginners – no debate about it!”  Belize Harrison

” For me the President’s Cup was a great introduction to university debating. We debated 6 current, relevent and interesting motions, and the feedback which I recieved from the judges will help me develop and improve my debating skills in the future.” Charles Brook

” The president’s cup debating tournament was a great way to ease into the world of competitive debating. While it was challenging, with many high-calibre teams from prestigious universities, it was after all a novice tournament, and therefore a lot less stressful because there were many people in the same boat as myself (having little to no experience debating). It was a long day, at times filled with nerves, but overall I’m very proud to have taken part and represented SOAS. I got to see some excellent debating first hand, and I’m determined to improve for next time ” Hanna Short

” Pres Cup was a great experience in developing basic debating skills, as well as participating with and against some very talented novice speakers. Highly recommended. “Andreas Bjorklund

” The first bout saw Charles and I pitted against battle-hardened campaigners from Cambridge and Bristol, but we managed to land sufficient blows to send our foes back to lick their wounds and curse their ill-fortune. Proceeding from the mysteries of organ donation to the scurvy knaves of professional sport, we swiftly unhorsed a second trio of valiant adversaries and then sallied forth to seek meat and mead in the taverns of Bloomsbury. Thus refreshed we were dismayed to find ourselves drawn by some ill chance to face our worthy SOAS allies, Sam and Andreas, as yet undefeated in like manner to ourselves. The subject of the image of the Prophet* put all upon their mettle, but their wits proved sharper and we were left to rue the day, bloodied but unbowed, my metaphor tired and dented beyond repair. With one debate to decide our fate, our knowledge of the US electoral system was sorely tested, and we proceeded to supper with little hope for the break rounds.

While UCL’s corkscrews did not live up to the standard of their sandwiches and cake, our hopes were raised when it was announced that TWO SOAS teams had broken to the semi-finals. With a debate on Syria, it seemed that the Fates of SOAS were smiling upon once us more – and Charles and I advanced, with Sam and Andreas falling at this final hurdle. With the inspiring words of Captain Sheraz ringing in our ears (“F***ing kill them”) but feeling more than a little jaded, we prepared for the final with some apprehension: ‘This House believes that the LGBT movement should not ‘out’ gay politicians” (SOAS in first opposition). Despite our best efforts, Cambridge triumphed in the end. Perhaps it was a debate too far, perhaps my examples revealed too much about my age (drawn as they were from the Major government before most debaters were born), but perhaps they were just a bit better. But as I gathered up my tattered metaphor on the way out, I could reflect on the wonderful support of our fellow warriors, the inspiration of our noble Captain and a field strewn with glories, even if the cup of victory had been dashed from our lips. SOAS had come, SOAS had seen, SOAS had not conquered, but many knights had won their spurs. ”  Peter Mckean


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