Elsies River HS team crowned debate champions | Western Cape Education Department
Elsies River HS team crowned debate champions

Elsies River HS team crowned debate champions

30 September 2021

“Sometimes you just need a little push to explore the potential you have and to use it in many areas and aspects of your life.”

These words by Taytum Baugaard, a Grade 11 learner at Elsies River High School, sums up their debate team's experience during a recent contest.

Competing in and winning the Astronomy and Space Debate competition, coordinated by the South African Astronomical Observatory and hosted by the Cape Town Science Centre, was a much-needed confidence booster for the Elsies River team.

Taytum, Lise Jacobs, Mubaaraka Wilson and Jodi Meyer were up against a formidable team from the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology. They had to debate the merits of the colonisation of Mars, a topic that was foreign to all of them.

Lisa said researching the topic piqued her interest in science while the thrill of arguing her case convinced her to pursue a career in law.

It was Jodi's first visit to the Cape Town Science Centre and she described the overall experience as amazing. Debating has helped her to think more critically, gain more confidence and realise the benefits of putting in extra effort to prepare well.

Mubaaraka said while they felt intimidated by their opponents, they did their best, researched the topic thoroughly and were determined to take home the win for Elsies River High. She added that their victory also proved that with the necessary support, young people from Elsies River have bright futures ahead of them.

“Preparing for the competition took quite a bit of time and resources but it was definitely worth it. I would like to thank my school and specifically my teachers, Ms Franks, Mr Gordon and Ms Plaatjies, for this wonderful opportunity. Without them it would not be possible.

Buzani Khumalo of the SAAO said they intend to make it an annual competition involving more schools.