On Tuesday 26th November the Rotary Youth Debates were held at Aberdour School. Sutton Grammar School were the first to speak, debating that Climate Change is Fake News, arguing for and against this. Then a team from Aberdour spoke about National Service should replace a Gap Year. Jack Lopez the chairperson introduced the speakers. Charlie Mallozzi spoke in favour of the motion, saying that 12 months of inspiring hard working institutional experience would be a good thing. Nicholas Howarth spoke against the motion, saying that volunteering to teach small children, involving travel and an escape from the daily grind would be a positive experience, involving travel, learning about different cultures, requiring planning and funding, a good experience. The judges decided that this was the winning team from the intermediate teams.
For the senior teams from Wilsons School the motion was that zero hours contracts should be abolished. Conrad Cheung spoke against the motion saying that 12% stand to benefit from lack of pay. Sickness related absences would force people to come to work when they should be at home, 51% have had shifts cancelled with lack of warning, making people more likely to face rent arrears and evictions undermining their mental health, as they can’t aford to take time off. Ansh Sharma spoke for the motion saying it favoured flexability giving more career opportunities, being advantageous to single parents, with fair wages and being competitive. The team from Sutton Grammar School spoke on the motion that we should lower the voting age to 16. Joel Sparks spoke in favour of the motions saying it would increase turn out at elections and that people should have citizenship classes making them more clued up that their parents. Miles Searle spoke against the motion saying that 16 year olds were not mature enough and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. They were chosen as the winning team by the judges.
The judging was done during an interval when the school supplied food to the parents and Rotarians. The judges were Alicia Nicholls, Wendy Phillips and Ros Rokison, who acted as the spokesperson, making constructive comments about the way the teams spoke. It was an interesting evening and as always it was good to hear the views of the young contestants.