Why debate?

Debating is the ability to present a constructive argument, regardless of personal opinion, either for or against on various topical issues: moral, legal or political. Teams have between fifteen minutes and several weeks to prepare their speeches, depending on the type of competition. In order to succeed, debaters must be able to think on their feet and carry out in depth research, as well as work closely with the rest of their team. Debating also develops the ability to speak with confidence in front of large audiences.
To be able to construct and then present arguments with poise and confidence is a skill that is highly prized both at university and beyond. To quote one of our former debaters, who was recruited by a major UK bank, “I just can't believe how useful debate has been in my (very brief) professional life; for example, during a recent presentation skills training seminar, there was not one single piece of advice I heard during the entire time that I hadn't already heard at least fifty times during debate practice”.

Debating at St. Lawrence College

The main focus of the year is the Panhellenic Forensics Association Tournament which is held each spring. In recent times, we have been the most successful school in this national competition, being crowned champions no less than seven times. We are also the only school in Greece to have had at least one team qualify for the quarter finals, every year we have entered. We have had teams in at least the semi-finals every year since 2010 and in 2017 won the tournament for an unprecedented third year in a row.
Debating at St. Lawrence College is not only for the senior pupils. Every summer term there is a junior competition which is open to all Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils, regardless of experience. We also enter the International Competition for Young Debaters and have seen several of our pupils qualify for the finals, which are held at the Oxford or Cambridge Union Societies.

Every winter, the debate club holds the annual Speakathon, where we invite the rest of the school to miss lessons and come along to the Cultural Hall to watch debates all day long. It is an excellent opportunity for pupils who do not have any debating experience to make floor speeches and test themselves against the skills of more proficient debaters. We are also proud to have seen many of our debaters represent Greece at the World Schools Debate Championships, in which Greece has a fantastic record.

Debating at St. Lawrence College forms one of the most vibrant and stimulating clubs, with a reputation for excellence. The Debating blog can be found here.

Roll of Honour

Panhellenic Forensics Tournament

1999: Michael Pantazis & Panos Spiliotis – Champions
2004: George Kanellos & Dimitris Samouris – Runners Up
2006: Pantellis Diplas, George Kanellos & Natasha Theodosiou – Runners Up
2007: Pantellis Diplas, Elena Georgantzis & Andrew Theodosiou - Champions
2008: Suny Coscione, Elena Georgantzis & Andrew Theodosiou - Champions
2011: Nick Moschopoulos, Amy Naughton-Rumbo & Angelos Palivos – Champions
2012: Nick Moschopoulos, Amy Naughton-Rumbo & Angelos Palivos – Runners Up
2015: Johnny Palivos, Aris Papadimitriou, Arietta Valmas – Champions
2016: Nicholas Short, Melina Spanoudis, Rosie Vorri – Champions
2017: Achilleas Papadimitriou, Nicholas Short, Rosie Vorri - Champions

St. Lawrence Pupils who have been selected to represent Greece at the World Schools Championships

Anna Bogdanova (2005)                     
Alexis Diplas (2010)    
Pantellis Diplas (2007)              
Elena Georgantzis (2007, 2008)          
Alexandra Hill (2002, 2004*)              
George Kanellos (2005, 2006)   
Despina Karvounis (2013, 2014)         
Amy Naughton-Rumbo (2013)              
Angelos Palivos (2012, 2013)    
Michael Pantazis (2000, 2001)  
Dimitris Samouris (2003, 2004, 2005)
Panos Spiliotis (2000, 2001)    
Natasha Theodosiou (2006)                 
Arietta Valmas (2014,2015)             
Alex Vaos (2005)
Rosie Vorri (2016, 2017)

*represented England