Group debating final takes place

Pictured is the winning 12-14 category group debating team, Lauren McNeill, Robbie McNeill and Jill Huey being congratulated by guest speaker John McCallister MLA and Martyn Blair, YFCU president.
Pictured is the winning 12-14 category group debating team, Lauren McNeill, Robbie McNeill and Jill Huey being congratulated by guest speaker John McCallister MLA and Martyn Blair, YFCU president.
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The final of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) group debating competition, sponsored by Elanco, recently took place at Magherafelt High School.

Guest speaker for the evening was MLA, and past president of the YFCU, John McCallister who had the opportunity to listen to the junior teams debating on the topic ‘part time work distracts from school work’ and to the senior members who debated on whether ‘Scotland should have been an independent country’.

Senior teams were given 30 minutes to prepare their debates whilst junior members had 40 minutes in which to form their debates.

During that time they used personal opinion and a comprehensive fact sheet provided to each team.

This format means that the debating in the contest is more spontaneous and encourages members to work together as a team.

It also means that no one is disadvantaged by having more time to practice and prepare than others.

After the judges totted up the scores, competitors gathered to hear the results. YFCU president Martyn Blair introduced John McCallister, MLA who addressed the audience before handing out the prizes.

In his speech, John told the audience he was impressed with the array of talent displayed in the debates that he had the pleasure of observing.

Following the presentation of prizes, YFCU president, Martyn Blair said: “The YFCU group debating competition continues to be one of the most popular in our calendar and we are delighted to have the continued support of Elanco. On behalf of the association I would also like to extend a note of thanks to our guest speaker John McCallister, MLA for his encouragement tonight and continued support of YFCU.”

YFCU Programming and Development Committee chairperson Robyn McCormick concluded the evening with her vote of thanks to all involved in the event, from the various trainers, judges, chairs who assisted throughout the course of the competition, to the schools which hosted the heats and final, and also to Curragh YFC who provided the guest supper after the final.

The results were as follows:

Results Class A: 12-14

1st Kilraughts YFC – Lauren McNeill, Robbie McNeill and Jill Huey

2nd Ballywalter YFC – Gareth Miskimmin, David Patton and Henry McCracken

Results Class B: 14-16

1st Glarryford YFC – Joshua Parke, Suzanne Reid and Megan Agnew

2nd Newtownards YFC – Zara Townley, Anna Brown and Emily Moore

Results Class C: 16-18

1st Glarryford YFC - Cathy Reid, Amy King and Clara Duffy

2nd Kilraughts YFC – Karen McVicker, Henry Kirkpatrick and Claire McVicker

Results Class D: 18-21

1st Newtownards YFC – Joy Dalzell, Jane Patton and Heather Martin

2nd Annaclone and Magherally YFC - Emma Martin, Andrew Sleator and Adam Berry

Results Class E: 21-25

1st Coleraine YFC – Neil Henry, Kathryn Taylor and Hilary Cameron

2nd Glarryford YFC – Rachael Frew, Cathy Knowles and Robyn McCormick