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Thurso debating teams are double winners in friendly competition at Fortrose


By Alan Hendry

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Alan and Julia from S2 at Thurso High School.
Alan and Julia from S2 at Thurso High School.

Thurso High School had a double success when a group of 14 S1/2 pupils, debaters and supporters attended a friendly debating competition at Fortrose Academy on the Black Isle.

Thurso's coach, Alexis Wallace, said: "After all the social isolation we endured during the pandemic, I was very keen to give my pupils the chance to take part in a real face-to-face debate.

"Over the years we have debated many times in person and online against Fortrose, so I suggested a trip down for a small competition. The Fortrose coach, Karen Meikle, and I organised two junior debates and Jo-Anne Pugh, who is an ex-pupil of Thurso High and whose children attended Fortrose, agreed to be our judge.

"Our three S1 competitors, Georgia Wilkin, Emily Wallace and Antonia Webb, bravely took on three top set S2 pupils, opposing the motion 'This House would abolish the Olympic Games'.

From left: Antonia, Georgia and Emily from S1 with their Amazon voucher prizes.
From left: Antonia, Georgia and Emily from S1 with their Amazon voucher prizes.

"Then our two S2 competitors, Alan Frame and Julia Mackay, took on a pair of S3 pupils, proposing the motion 'This House regrets the invention of social media'. All five Thurso competitors were praised for their delivery and ability to handle points.

"Jo-Anne Pugh chose Thurso as the winners of both debates. Thurso's debating society was delighted with this result, but it was also a great 'win' to see a different school and town and have a sociable and educational day out.

"The whole group was great and many also made points in the floor debate. I was really proud of them all."

Mrs Wallace added: "Our debaters have done so well this year, with Ashleigh Coghill and Innes Morgan making it to the semi-finals of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, organised by the Law Society of Scotland.

"Travel always presents a big logistical challenge, so we are delighted that Fortrose are planning a trip north to us after the summer for another competition. Our seniors are also hoping to attend the final of the Law Society debate at the Scottish Parliament in June."

Innes Morgan and Ashleigh Coghill reached the semi-finals of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament.
Innes Morgan and Ashleigh Coghill reached the semi-finals of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament.

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