Written by: Shayna Leng (21A15)
Photo by: Shayna Leng (21A15)
“We are extremely honoured to have had the privilege of representing Singapore - and indeed, Hwa Chong - at the international level. We are immensely grateful for the love and support of our families, teachers, friends, and school through the tough months of training.
Debating, at its core, is about having diverging perspectives. It has taught us to keep an open mind, and engage empathetically with social issues. The gruelling competition has strengthened our resolve in the possibilities that debating can offer, not just in improving one's understanding of the world, but also in allowing everyone to feel more comfortable speaking out about their passions.”
Shayna Leng Shuen Rea (21A15) and Caleb Wern Shih Loh (20A14)
Singapore National Debate Team (Shayna Leng (21A15) first row leftmost, and Caleb Loh (20A14) second row rightmost)
The World Schools’ Debating Championship is the pinnacle debating tournament for school students. The Championship seeks to promote excellence in debating, international understanding, and freedom of speech, gathering the most able debaters from around the world. Due to Covid-19, the 2021 Championships were moved onto Zoom, and organised by the Macau English Debating Association.
Caleb Wern Shih Loh (20A14) and Shayna Leng Shuen Rea (21A15) represented Singapore at the prestigious international tournament, along with three other debaters. Led by National Coach Mrs Geetha Creffield, Team Singapore emerged 3rd out of 74 national teams.
In addition, Caleb Loh was ranked as one of the Top 25 Speakers out of 373 debaters. Caleb has been debating for six years, and encourages aspiring debaters not to give up on their dreams. He said, “I feel debating is an excellent way to learn to express yourself eloquently, sensitively, and fearlessly.”
Both Shayna and Caleb are students of Hwa Chong’s Humanities Programme, and credit the Programme for encouraging them to broaden their horizons and think deeply about social issues.