English Debate Team Clinched the Championship in HKSSDC (Kowloon District, Div. 1) (01/06/2017)

Yesterday was a huge day, blessed by our Lord, during which our English Debate Team (S.4 Team 1—Audrey, Jade and Kris from 4A) won in the Hong Kong Secondary School Debating Competition (Regional Final, Kowloon District, Division 1). The motion of the debate was that Hong Kong should ban the sale of all shark fin products here. We were the negative side and the affirmative team was St. Francis Xavier’s College. Facing such a complex and sophisticated motion, we had prepared a lot for it, facing many difficulties and setbacks during the process.

At first, when we received the motion, we thought it was indeed the most difficult one we had ever seen as, morally and environmentally speaking, there is no denying that we should not consume sharks, especially when they are threatened or even endangered. We had been thinking about the possible arguments to debunk the motion, but our minds were just totally blank right from the beginning.

Then, we tried to delve into this topic with our teammates and, miraculously, we could find some statistics proving that the shark fin products imported into Hong Kong are strictly monitored by some government authorities who are concerned that only those sharks which are not under threat and danger could be sold in Hong Kong. Therefore, we could narrow down our focus on Hong Kong so that our opposition could not take advantage of their “high moral ground” as Hong Kong has been doing things right!

Next, we also came up with two other important points, namely that if Hong Kong bans the sale of shark-fin products, this would just heighten the demand in other countries as people will still keep searching for them. This would lead to higher selling prices of those products and the fishermen would no doubt continue catching sharks. Also, there are some shark-related products including swimming suits, medicine and so on which are crucial and beneficial to us. A blind and radical total ban on any kind of shark-related product is absolutely unwise and unreasonable.

Finally, even if we put ourselves into their shoes, even if the move could help reduce the hunting of sharks, in addition to water pollution and oil leaks in the ocean, sharks will eat a lot of the fish supply which we may rely on for our food. Hence, the whole marine life and food chain would be disrupted, leading to a vicious cycle. The ultimate victims would be human beings.

We also got some help from our neighbouring school (St. Paul School, Lam Tin) to have a friendly mock debate with us a week in advance so that we could be more familiar with the rebuttals and fixing our loopholes. This was also a gift from God to send angels to support us.

Above all, we had been praying to God that we could do our very best, not because of getting the trophy, but for learning and gaining more from the experience. Our Principal, School Chaplin, teachers and schoolmates had prayed for us too. God really listened and answered us! Hallelujah!

We got a unanimous 3-0 win from the three adjudicators and Audrey was selected the best debater. We would like to extend our thanks to the support from our school and our Lord. We also held yesterday’s morning assembly to give a summary of what we did and gained from debating throughout the year. We sincerely hope that more and more schoolmates will become more interested, or even take part in debating activities or competitions to broaden their horizons and sharpen their language skills!

Reported by English Debate Team Leaders:
Audrey Cheung (4A)
Jade Ng (4A)
Kris Li (4A)
Vanessa Liu (4A)