AFRIENDLY debate held recently at YMCA not only kicked off this year's joint school debating competition but also showed young debaters how to win.
The Debate Extravaganza '93, jointly organised by eight secondary schools, will see 11 competitions with over 90 students this month.
Debate teams, instead of representing individual schools, will comprise students from different schools.
''Instead of having schools compete each other, this year's contest allows students from different schools to join the same team,'' the chairman of the organising committee, Bessie Chen Huei-yu of Diocesan Girls' School, said.
''This will reduce hostility and reinforce communication.'' Bessie said this year's competition was the largest in scale and she hoped it would draw more public attention.
The debate at YMCA, designed to give young debaters some tips on debating, featured veteran debaters who have been members of the former Joint School Debating Society.
The opposing team, led by Germaine Ma, won the debate by arguing that the post-1997 political climate would not alter the economic performance of Hongkong.
The proposing side, under captain Desmond Chu, cited examples like the building of the new airport and the Sino-British talks on Basic Law and elections to support the motion ''The post-1997 political climate will alter the economic performance of Hongkong''.
The opposing team argued that the influence would only be short-term and the economy would remain prosperous.
''The ups and downs will continue after 1997,'' said the opposition team's first speaker Seema Desani.
Adjudicators included Dr Philip Kwok, former Wing On Group Chairman; Mr John Budge of Partner, Wilkinson & Grist; Mrs Nelly Fung, founder of Chinese International School; Mr Lo King-man, Vice-chairman of Urban Council; and Mrs Carol Lu of Stanford Medical School.
Mr John Budge reminded the debaters to keep an eye on the time.
He said some of them gave good speeches but had to end abruptly because of the time limit.
Schools that will take part in the mini-debates to follow include St Mary's Canossian College, Sacred Heart Canossian College, Wah Yan College Kowloon, Wah Yan College Hongkong, Diocesan Girls' School, Ramondi College, St Joseph's College and Heep Yunn School.