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Inaugural Oswald Elliott Cup Proves Huge Success

Oswald Elliott Cup This year sees the centenary of the death of Oswald Elliott, Old Stamfordian, keen debater and alumnus of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, who gave his life for his country in the trenches of WW1.

To commemorate this centenary, it seemed fitting to re-establish historic links between Stamford Endowed Schools and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and foster a link between school and university debating. The result was the inaugural Oswald Elliott Cup debate, which took place on Friday and was a great success, enjoyed by a large audience of students, parents, staff and friends of the Schools.

The debate "This House believes that the Olympics aren't worth it" was given some context by Richard Smith, Director of Operations at Stamford Endowed Schools, who started the evening with a fascinating insight into the security challenges of the London 2012 games from the perspective of the British Armed Forces.

The debate which followed was a closely fought contest between two first year history students from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and two debaters from Stamford Endowed Schools, Tom Proffitt and Julna Karavdra, both in Year 13. It was good to see a lively floor debate, with challenging questions to both teams from students, parents and staff.

After an overwhelming audience vote in favour of Stamford Endowed Schools, the audience enjoyed a balanced, thoughtful adjudication from Sam Waudby, Old Stamfordian (2007) and alumnus of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Sam qualified as a solicitor and now works for Herbert Smith Freehills on large-scale fraud cases in London and Hong Kong. He talked about the importance of debating skills in today's world and in particular, the value of listening to the views of others, before awarding the cup to Stamford Endowed Schools.

Karen Leetch, who runs debating at Stamford School, commented: “It was a pleasure to see so many students of all ages, parents and staff in the audience. Special thanks must go to the President of Fitzwilliam College Debating Society and the Cambridge debaters for agreeing to take part and to my colleague David Gloucester, who proposed the idea for the cup, used his connections with Fitzwilliam College to make it happen and worked tirelessly on the logistics of this ground-breaking new venture. We all look forward to a return match at Cambridge University next year!"