Since I was writing recollections of my extra-curricular activities the week before last, here’s another entry on debating at NTU. The Australasians tournament in Melbourne ’95 was an eye-opener, and from that point till 2000 I got involved training polytechnic, secondary school, and JC debating teams, and also adjudicated in several other local and regional tournaments.
The highlight was in 2000 when we headed to Sydney for the World Universities competition. This competition is the largest of its kind, and unlike the World Schools, the participants at World Universities span the age range. In Singapore at least, undergraduates tend to be those compacted around either the post-diploma/’A’ levels/NS age group. Elsewhere from the world, and certainly so for Australia, there were a number of adult debaters who were also post-graduate students. And with that age came a more mature understanding of content matters and tenacity to boot when delivering their speeches.
The host university this time was the University of Sydney, and this institution isn’t merely regarded as one of the top institutions in Australia. Their debating team has on more than a few occasions won the competition. The tournament saw participation from more than 100 Universities around the world, and NTU as I recall it sent three teams, with three motherhens, whoops adjudicators; two staff and myself. No, at that point I was no longer a student of NTU (I was legitimately a student of Curtin University at that juncture), so I registered as NTU-Alumni.
We were housed on campus, and the building I stayed in was St. Andrews’ College, and there was an incredible feeling of history and heritage as walked through its corridors. I wish I’d taken more pictures of the place. The NTU teams fared well too in the tournament, though they were eliminated from the competition during the advanced knock-out rounds. The championship was eventually taken by Monash University.
The thing about these tournaments ultimately isn’t about debating, but about meeting people doing the same thing as you are but in other parts of the world. I certainly enjoyed all the social functions, and this picture here never fails to make Ling a little green-eyed. The lovely ladies are from the Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. No, that’s not me getting drunk during our Championship Dinner event (I’m teetotaler!), but me blushing furiously.:)
I’ve got a longer writeup at this link here, which I remember I was writing and updating on the fly on a daily basis at Sydney’s Internet cafes. And you have to keep in mind that this was pre-Internet blogging days.:)