Students shine at mock United Nations debate

Winstanley College students, Georgia Heapy, Peter Lyon, Eliot Mather and Alex Tumilty
Winstanley College students, Georgia Heapy, Peter Lyon, Eliot Mather and Alex Tumilty

STUDENTS from a Wigan college enjoyed fantastic success at the Sixth Form United Nations Conference held in Birmingham.

The three-day event which included competitors from colleges around the country, involved intense debate surrounding some of the serious issues facing the world today.

And Winstanley College students made a big impact. Eliot Mather, 18, from Blackrod, received an award for best resolution and most persuasive speaking. Georgia Heapy and Peter Lyon, both 17 and from Wigan, won prizes for best resolution and most effective speaking and 17-year-old Alex Tumilty, from Warrington, also won a prize for most persuasive speaking.

At the conference, all competitors split into teams to represent different UN countries. Winstanley students formed two teams representing Australia and Columbia.

Alex said: “The debating of resolutions at committee level was fun. It was a chance to be able to showcase what our nominated country was all about, and the banter between states was great.”

At the start of the competition, the teams first had to lobby and successfully gain the support of five other “countries” in order to submit their resolution for debate. This was followed by the students’ debating resolutions to take to the main assembly.

Eliot, who is studying philosophy and religion, also chaired a heated debate on creating an international criminal court for the prosecution of those who committed atrocities against women. Both Winstanley College teams gained UN committee approval.

With issues as diverse as the banning of the burkas and the impact of a court as emphasising the victim status of women being discussed, the debates were lively and full of passion.

Peter said: “I enjoyed presenting my resolution to the Political Committee as it was challenging to have to answer questions on the spot.”

A college spokesman said: “All the students gave a fantastic performance in their debates and really enjoyed the experience it gave them, and with all the prizes the team received it was clear they have debating talent.”