The Joensuu Debate Society participated in its fifth international debating tournament this weekend at the Turku Open 2014. However, this was no ordinary tournament participation, no. This time we had a huge group of six people going, making it the largest participation we have had outside of Joensuu ever! Not only that, but all three teams did well in the tournament, placing reasonably, with Laura Halinen and Alexandra Shtromberg (former president of the JDS) narrowly missing the break into the semifinals!
For those who do not know what debate tournaments are like, I will quote myself from yesterday: If you like debating, then normal Wednesday debates are like having McDonalds, while debate tournaments are like going to a five star restaurant. It’s just that magical. The added competition and meeting old friends and new friends alike makes the experience something that you will miss for months. Not only that, but the tournaments are also the best places to learn debating (especially if you get good judges who are able to give good critical feedback). Quite simply put, nothing beats a debate tournament weekend!
However, tournaments are also competitions and we all have to treat them as such. One must be well prepared before going to a tournament. It’s clear that all six of us were up to the task though!
Pretty much all debating tournaments fall into a standard category: Five preliminary rounds where there are four teams of two people in each debate. At the end of the debate round, the judges score first, second, third, and last positions and give feedback and reasoning for the positions. The people with the best points break into two semifinal rounds and the winning teams from those two debates continue to the grand final. A team from Joensuu has yet to break into the semifinals – but one day, I know that some of us will. Let’s work hard for that day.
I am very happy for both the level of activity and the success we have showed this weekend. We are definitely placing Joensuu on the world map of debating which has been a longtime personal dream of mine! The debaters had a wonderful time and some of them had these things to say:
Alexandra Since setting up Joensuu Debate Society (named JoensuuDebate! at that time) and then leaving Finland, I have missed debating a lot. The weekly training may sometimes seem a kind of routine, but tournaments are the very reason why you should train and prepare yourself for amazing days spent together with your delegation, fellow debaters and qualified adjudicators!
For me this tournament was the fulfilling of my dream – not the dream of scoring 9 points and making it relatively close to semifinals, but of seeing how the debating mood is developing in Joensuu – we got 3 teams at the tournament and Joensuu was mentioned at the opening ceremony:)
To tell the truth, personally I was afraid of going to the tournament when I was just starting the debates. So, I am definitely happy that we had beginners bravely and successfully representing Joensuu Debate Society at Turku Open together with more experienced participants !
Thanh I really love the tournament. It’s one of my most amazing experieces in my student life. Many friends ask me about it and they’re really curious, also a bit jealous!
Arturo Ducks are ducks. (Seriously man, make better quotes!)
So JDS: Work hard, be active, and join the next tournament for the time of your life!