SAC debaters finished 9th overall at the International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Championships last week in Hong Kong.
Only 20 points separated the SAC team from first place, which is a tremendous accomplishment for a competition of this scale, which had 120 contestants from top international schools around the world.
Saad Siddiqui ’15, President of the SAC Debate Society, was a finalist in Parliamentary Debating, finishing 1st in the category, making him the top Parliamentary Debater in the Internationals League. Saad also delivered a speech on the “poison ivy” at Ivy League schools. Overall, he placed 39th in the tournament.
In Cross-Examination Debating, the team of Saad and Jadyn Dragasevich met first round with Roxbury Latin, the East Coast Ivy prep school internationally feared for having one of toughest debating programs in the world. However, the Saints prevailed, with judges voting 2-1 for St. Andrew’s. This round, combined with a 3-0 second round, put the SAC Cross-Examination team at third overall in the tournament.
Jadyn competed in Impromptu Speaking and placed 17th in the category. He also delivered an outstanding persuasive speech on corruption in organized sporting events that was well-received by the judges. Overall, Jadyn placed a remarkable 30th in the entire tournament.
Cole Macgregor ’15 was a finalist in Parliamentary Debating and ended up placing 5th in the category, making him the fifth best Parliamentary Debater in the Internationals league. Cole also did extremely well in his persuasive and impromptu rounds. Overall, Cole placed 38th in the entire tournament.
Prior to the competition at Renaissance College, the students, along with teacher Samantha Scheepers, toured local sights and experienced rich Chinese culture during a day-long trip to Shenzhen and Guangzhou in China.
The past few weeks of political unrest in Hong Kong had little effect on their travels, and in fact became a learning opportunity as they heard the perspectives of locals. They also engaged in richer discussions during debates with students from all over the world in light of recent events, and many of their impromptu debates had to do with democracy and censorship.
The students did get a few strange looks when wearing kilted First Dress, but weren’t shy about showing their Andrean blood!