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Captain's blog

Hello everyone! I’m Sorcha, and I’m from Muckross Park College. I’m here in Concern on work experience. It’s weird sitting here, surrounded by all the debating paraphernalia when I and my team have so recently been knocked out!

We managed to make it through the league phase, and three rounds of the knockout phase, only to be beaten by Lucan Community College just before the quarter finals. 

It was an absolutely brilliant journey. I captained my team and honestly there is nothing more fun than being the captain. You get captainly privileges like being allowed to finish your team’s bottles of water!

But in all seriousness, for future Concern debaters, let me tell you about being a captain. Don’t let yourself in for it if you’re not up for it. The stress is unbelievable. My team will tell you that I used to go completely into “captain mode” just minutes before the debate started. I’d demand to listen to everyone’s speeches one last time and then proceed to make teeny tiny cuts and changes…ok, ok, I moved whole paragraphs and inserted new points. But who’s to say it didn’t work out? In every debate I was amazed and truly proud of how well each member of my team performed.

That’s one thing you’ll learn as captain: you can help your team as much as humanly possible, but in the end, it’s down to them to pull it out on the night. And in the end, Muckross always did.

Other captains out there will back me up on this I’m sure. The moment before you stand up to give your second speech has to be one of the most terrifying, exhilarating times of your life. There’s a little voice in the back of your head that just keeps repeating “This could go horribly wrong!”

But you have to ignore that voice. Once you start to talk and you realise that you’re actually managing to make sense, there’s no better feeling in the world. Then, before you know it, you’re sitting down. Your hands are shaking and the adjudicators are heading out to deliberate. It’s all over and you did it!

Well done Muckross, you’re the best group of girls I could ever have hoped to work with. Well done to all the teams who got to the quarters. And well done to everyone who took part. It’s been a brilliant competition.