GIBS Debate Club in Prague

While summer holidays were in full swing for our GIBS community, some very committed and determined students took it upon themselves (with some encouragement from Mr Ó Cribín Soldo) to represent GIBS and indeed Austria at the prestigious international debate tournament, the Prague Debate Spring, in the iconic city of Prague. Despite a busy end of year students Una Šarić (7i), Sofia Schuppler, Igor Kizik, Anna Demus and Bence Wesseling (6i) formed a Team that would prove that GIBS is developing into a formidable force in the debating world. While debating interesting topics on social, legal and philosophical issues, they had a chance to debate against teams from interesting places such as Japan, Georgia, Israel, Finland, Italy and south east Europe. They won 4 out of 6 debates in their preliminary rounds, wowing judges who rewarded them with impressive speaking scores. Along the way they had to take stock with some honest constructive feedback improving each time for the next round. This meant they qualified for the knockout rounds for the first time at a major international tournament. They were ranked 8th out of 40 teams, ultimately being knocked out in a close match against a strong Slovenian team that went all the way to the final. They duked it out with some of the best debaters from across Europe and indeed the world with national champions from Japan, Romania, Poland and more participating in this tournament. Each member of our team had a role to play, contributing to their success and seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They were also able to socialise with their peers, making friends with fun and interesting people from around the globe. It was a privilege to watch them grow and develop as debaters and individuals. We could not be more proud of their achievements and they obviously should be proud of themselves that hard work and dedication paid off.
A special thanks, of course, goes to Mr Ó Cribín Soldo who not only coached them to being ranked 8th out of 40 teams from up to 25 different countries from across the world but was also asked to chair and judge many debates at the tournament. He was honoured to be asked to judge in the semi final of the tournament. As part of our GIBS delegation he also arranged for his brother, Dónal Ó Cribín, a law graduate, to be a judge and offer his experience and advice to the team. Dónal was also asked to chair many of the debates and due to his professionalism had the privelege to be asked to be part of the judging panel for the final of the entire tournament which took place in the City Hall of Prague. They came to a unanimous decision and awarded it to a great team from Bežigrad, Slovenia, also an IB school.
This demonstrates our commitment at GIBS to the values of learning, critical thinking, & engagement on a wide range of issues and topics. It also emphasises how we are building a reputation as a respected debating institution in Europe. As we start the new school year, GIBS Debate Club is looking forward to organising more events including internal school competitions as well as participating at other such international tournaments in the future.

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