I was ten years old when I was first introduced to debating, and ever since, I’ve fallen in love with it.
As I progressed to high school, I was eager to debate as much as possible. I had many friends just like me — both within and outside my school — who were passionate about debating, who simultaneously explored the realm of abstract philosophy and found their voice in the art of public speaking.
We really wanted to grow as debaters, but there were a variety of barriers. Some of our schools did not come from competitive debating backgrounds. Some of us did not know the basics. Some of us had gone for a few competitions but seemed to hit a plateau and did not know how to develop further. Some of us loved debate so much that we just wanted to debate frequently, for the fun of it, but couldn’t find an avenue to do so. Slowly, an idea germinated in the mind of fourteen-year-old me.
I realized that there was a need for a platform that connects students and forms a debate community where students frequently meet to discuss motions, learn from each other, and hone their skills.
So I decided to create one.
It started off with just my friends and I joining a conference call and discussing interesting motions. It slowly grew as we called more and more people to join us. Eventually, I went to my teachers and Principal with this proposal, and with their feedback, refined my plan.
After approaching several students from multiple schools and planning this initiative for about a year, we finally launched our pilot session on April 14, 2020 with 50 students from 4 schools.
Through this, I was able to interact with several debaters I had never seen before. In them I saw the spirit of debate. I saw a community of students who were so eager to explore that they were willing to spend two hours of their weekend on debating before their unit exams. I was pleasantly surprised when quite a few of them messaged me after the sessions telling me how much they loved it and wished this had been started earlier.
I am incredibly grateful for all those who have joined us and supported us. I hope that this platform continues to serve as a way to spread our love for debating.