The start of the year saw success for Habs debaters, participating in both the Oxford and Cambridge regional rounds and qualifying two teams in each event.

Oxford regional consisted of two rounds with somewhat familiar debates, covering whether soldiers should have their ability to feel pain removed, and whether history should focus on notable individuals or common people.

Themes of agency, consent, practicality and harm were contested in the first debate; counterfactual worlds and establishment of tangible change was a critical factor of the latter motion. Notably, an Old Haberdasher – Aniket Chakravorty – was co-ordinating the event for our region. At the end of a short 3-hour night, Habs LVJR (Lucas (L6H1) and James (L6C2)) and Habs JSVS (Jonny (L6R2) and Veylan (L6J2)) proved the strength of our Lower Sixth cohort by standing out to qualify for the next round.

Unfortunately, this year it seems they will not be able to travel to Oxford, but their achievement was nevertheless impressive, serving to push forwards Habs debaters into the spotlight step by step as our debating club transforms and improves. All teams put out impressive performances; the two round format being shorter than the traditional four gave some teams their chance to shine, boosting confidence in the build-up to Cambridge Schools.


Later, on the 13 February, four Habs teams virtually competed in the Cambridge Regional North London round 2021. Speaking on motions varying from ‘This house would transfer ownership of sporting teams to the fans’ to ‘This house would give a stay-at-home spouse a salary’. Themes of gender role equality, criminal reintegration, harms vs benefits, and many more were debated strongly throughout the day.

By the end Habs had proven their strength in the competition; Habs OMAP (Om (L6S2) and Aarnav (L6H1)) and Habs ATKK (Ahan (U6R2) and Keshav (11H1)) had both qualified for the Cambridge finals day which takes place on 6 March. With a special mention to Keshav in particular who impressively stepped up so readily at the last minute and filled in as Ahan’s partner. These results were particularly impressive considering the size and strength of the competition – 50 teams competing in total with only five spaces available for the final.

The other two Habs teams fought valiantly and marginally missed of qualification for the final, with Habs LVRG (Lucas (L6H1) and Rahul (L6M2)) missing out by only two points, and Habs FOAL (Fola (10M2) and Alex (10M1)) by only one point – this is very promising considering Fola and Alex are only in Year 10.

The School performed admirably on the speaker points leader board as well, Aarnav and Ahan both made it to the top 15 speakers for the competition, with 290 and 289 points respectively. Additionally, the total range of Habs speakers was only five points, so our group of debaters appeared very strongly on speaker points as a whole.

All in all, both competitions were very successful ‘outings’ for Habs, putting us in good stead for the Oxford and Cambridge finals and upcoming competitions in general. The debating revolution at Habs continues!

(Photo taken: October 2020)