04 Nov 2010: Preston school beats Kolkata opponents in Debating Matters International Final

UK team victorious in Debating Matters International Final at the Battle of Ideas - one all!

From left to right in picture above: Deepak Mukarji, Shell Companies India; Sujata Sen, East India British Council; and from Hutton Church of England Grammar School: Claire Mates, teacher; David Riley, Patrice Ellis, John Stephenson, Sarah Dockerill, Adam Rawcliffe, Sam Winter; judges Wendy Kaminer, Dr George Thomas; Phill Mullan; Tony Gilland, Debating Matters Director

UK Champions Hutton Church of England Grammar School from Preston have won the Academy of Ideas Debating Matters Competition International Final 2010, beating the winners of Debating Matters India Delhi Public School Megacity, Kolkata. Congratulations to them, and their very worthy opponents, for a great debate in front of an engaged and challenging international audience.

The Debating Matters International Final 2010 was held at this year’s Battle of Ideas festival, on Saturday 30 October. The two competing teams; Patrice Ellis and Adam Rawcliffe from the UK and Devvart Poddar and Abhisek Ghosh from India, tackled the motion ‘Financial incentives provide the best solution to the crisis of organ and tissue donation’. Part of Hutton’s winning prize at the UK National Final, held at the Royal Society of Medicine in July, was an all expenses paid trip to take on the winners of Debating Matters India, DPS Megacity, who were victorious in their National Final in Delhi back in January.

The team from Kolkata flew in to take on their UK opponents, spending a few days in London after their debate, as part of their winning prize.

The teams were judged by a distinguised international panel: Wendy Kaminer, US-based writer on law, liberty, feminism, religion and popular culture; Dr George Thomas, Chennai based orthopaedic surgeon and editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics; and Phil Mullan, economist and UK Managing Director of Easynet Global Services. Wendy Kaminer said of the debate in her feedback as she announced the results:

“I wouldn’t want to have to argue either side of this debate - it’s an incredibly complex debate and I have nothing but praise for the two teams for tackling it so well”

Claire Mates, who has successfuly guided her team to two victories this year, and reinvigorated debating at Hutton Chuch of England Grammar School, said of the experience:

“I can’t express how wonderful an opportunity it was for our students. They realised it was an experience they will probably never be able to replicate. It’s a fantastic finale to what has been a brilliant year for us”

Deepak Mukarji, Country Head, External Affairs at Shell Companies India gave a welcome address, teasing the the teams and the audience about the Debating Matters India victory at last year’s International Final! Jack Watters, Vice President of External Medical Affairs at Pfizer gave a closing speech to congratulate the two teams on well argued debate.

The Debating Matters team would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and partners, in the UK and in India, for their commitment and belief in the Debating Matters Competition. Thanks to: British Council, Pfizer, Shell Companies India and the Wellcome Trust.


Read more about the Debating Matters International Final on the Battle of Ideas website. For more information about Debating Matters India contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you’d like your school to be crowned Debating Matters International Champions in the future, then get involved in Debating Matters!


Thursday 27 June:
Oxfordshire Championship at Oxford Union, in partnership with Magdalen College School and Oxford Festival of Arts

Friday 5 July:
North East Championship at Durham Sixth Form Centre


Find a list of all our previous championship events here.


Bernie Whelan, our DM coordinator, is raising money for Debating Matters. To stage one of our Championships for six to 12 teams costs £6,000. Find out more on Bernie’s Wonderful fundraising page.


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