English Speaking Union Mace report 2018
Ripon Grammar was the setting of the second round of the prestigious English Speaking Union Mace debate in January.
The afternoon began with a fascinating and tightly fought debate on the topic of tax, with teams from Silcoates, Wakefield and Queen Mary's, Thirsk both making very detailed and complex points with great clarity and a perspicacity beyond their years. The second debate featured Poppy Jagger and Gus Smith from RGS against a team from St. Aidan's Harrogate on the thorny issue of airbrushing in the media.
Judging was done by an official ESU judge who is a student at Durham University and the ESU Ambassador for the North East, Miss Constance Collard, ably assisted by two volunteers, retired HR professional David Williams and retired judge Simon Grenfell, both members of the Ripon Rotary group. All three offered a wealth of experience and advice for the participants after their lengthy deliberations.
A very close event meant no one could be quite sure of the outcome, with any of the four teams worthy of a place in the north eastern final which will be held in February. The judges final comments reflected this, but the eventual winners were St Aidan's and RGS, a thoroughly well deserved result.