Netherlands wins ‘Mini Worlds Chennai’ title
A team of school students from the Netherlands won the Mini Worlds Chennai 2019 tournament in the Tamil Nadu capital on Sunday by defeating a team from Hong Kong.
The three-day tournament, held by the Indian Schools Debating Society (ISDS) with sponsorship from the Ramco Group of companies, was India’s first international debating tournament in the World Schools format. In the format, the proposition and opposition teams give three speeches each, and then sum up their arguments in a reply speech. A total of 15 teams — from 12 nations and three from India— participated in the tournament. The Indian team was knocked out in the semi-finals by Hong Kong. The 90-minute final was adjudicated on the motion, “this house regrets the glorification of hard work”, with Hong Kong proposing and the Netherlands opposing the topic. “We are very happy about winning this title. The tournament was great and of course, we had amazing opponents,” said 17-year-old Jonathan Kellogg, a high school student from Amsterdam and part of the Netherlands’ team. PV Nirmala Raja, chairperson of ISDS and a member of the family that controls Ramco Group, said the event was aimed at giving exposure to Indian students interested in debating. “The World School Debating Competition (WSDC) is to be held in Thailand from July 24 to August 1. Therefore, our Mini Worlds Chennai 2019 would be a warm-up tournament. As debaters are coming from various nations, it opens the door for our debaters to learn the nuances of debating from a global perspective,” Nirmala said.
Dhruva Bhat, Head of curriculum content, ISDS, said Indian school debaters have a great future. Students representing India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Hong Kong, England, Wales, Ireland, The Netherlands, Mexico, Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand participated in this tournament. India was represented by Tejas Subramaniam, a Class 12 student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School in Chennai, Saranya Ravindran, a Class 1 student from the same school, Manya Gupta, a Class 12 student from Neerja Modi School in Jaipur, Prithvi Arun, a Class 12 student of Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School in Chennai, and Bhavya Shah, a Class 12 student from Rao Junior College of Science in Mumbai and the first blind debater to get into Team India.