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NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge 2020 - Years 7 and 8 State Final
JUSTINE CLARKE: Good morning, and welcome to, well, it's good afternoon, sorry, to the 2020 State Final of the Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 7 and 8 for the Lloyd Cameron Cup, which I'll show you a bit later. My name is Justine Clarke and I'm the Speaking Competition's Officer for the Department of Education's Arts Unit.
Before we go any further, I'd like to acknowledge that I'm speaking to you on the homelands of the Cadigal people who are the traditional custodians of this land. I pay respect to elders past, present, and emerging of the Eora nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today. I'd now like to hand over to Armidale Secondary College to do their own specific acknowledgment.
SPEAKER 1: I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land of which we meet on today, which is the Anaiwan people. And I would also like to pay my respects to elders, both past, present, and emerging.
SPEAKER 2: We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Awabakal people. Our school is built up on their rich, fertile lands and their ancient river system. We wish to pay our respects to the elders both, past, present, and emerging. So they hold the keys to the future.
JUSTINE CLARKE: This year, we had a slightly modified competition. We had 234 teams entered and competed online across the state, initially, in in a zone round-robin competition, which is traditionally what we normally do in this comp. But then once the state once the zone finalists were decided, they entered a knockout finals series, which has been really interesting to watch.
Congratulations also to teams that made the quarter finals of this competition, some of whom have joined to watch today. Ellerslie High School, Penrith High School, Smith's Hill, Denison College Bathurst, Lanterne High School, and Mountain View High School.
Now onto our state final. Each speaker today may speak for six minutes. There'll be a Warning bell at four minutes and two bells at six minutes. There'll be a continuous bell if the speaker reaches seven minutes. Our time keepers today from Armidale, Ruby Ainsworth, and from Callahan College, Hamish Foren.
Our adjudicators today are Indigo Crossweller, Kate Jackson, and Charlee Sutherland. The state finalists today from Armidale Secondary College and Callahan College Waratah. The affirmative team is from Armidale Secondary College. First speaker, Anna Gooley. Second speaker, Sophie Ridley. Third speaker, Josephine O'Baoill. Team advisor, Brooke Staiton. And their coach is Fiona Smee.
The negative team is from Callahan College Waratah. First speaker, Rifah Shaeera. Second speaker, Emarehi Okhawere. Third speaker, Chelsea Young. And team advisor, Tesla Moore. And their coach for today is Brody Stefanovic. The topic today is that Australia should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Before we begin, can we just take a moment to ensure that we're all muted. And now I'd like to welcome the first speaker for the affirmative team, Anna, to begin the debate.
ANNA GOOLEY: The status quo is that we are in a worldwide pandemic and are in the midst of an economic crisis. Foreign relations between Australia and China are frigid. And the opposition wishes to send Aussie athletes straight into a political war zone purely for leisure that could easily be experienced on a TV screen.
The stakeholders in this debate are the athletes, Chinese government, the Australian government, and the audience present at the Olympics. I will detail the political impact of sending Aussie athletes and the detriment of the economy caused by this change.
My second speaker will detail the health aspects of sending out of practise athletes in sending out of practise athletes in. We define the topic as Australian athletes will not be attending the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Athletes will not be competing under the Aussie flag and will not be sent overseas to compete.
Our model will obviously not be affecting the Australian public who are free to do whatever they want. But they'll be strongly encouraged to not attend unsafe places, as ever. Aussies will have to get there by their own means and will have to do a 14 day quarantine upon return to Australia.
Australia is a democracy. And whilst we cannot know whether China will allow Aussies into China, it is an Aussie's free choice to go where they are allowed to go. Now onto our arguments. For my first substantive, I'll be discussing the political impacts of this change.
We've all seen on the news blinding headlines screaming relations between China and Australia grow frigid. Foreign relations to China are becoming worse. And even Aussies are just living in China has visa rescinded. Anyone can see the China and Australia are not doing great together right now.
With political bullying already rampant between countries, can you imagine the amount of isolation, bullying, and even violence our poor Aussie athletes would experience? We have to think of the safety of Australian athletes. Plenty of Chinese citizens feel anger against Australians. And frankly, plenty of Aussies feel the same.
We must not send thousands of Aussies into the firing zone only for our athletes to experience bias judging and anger directed unfairly towards our country, and by extension, our athletes. We obviously cannot control the actions of the Aussie public. But our athletes will not be competing under the Australian flag as we have no guarantee of their safety and need to keep them safe save as much as possible.
Besides, aside from the violent consequences, the judges who'll be aside from the consequences, the judges who will be judging our athletes can do whatever they want with no ramifications. Our poor athletes work incredibly hard, get personal bests, and we have zero guarantee of nonbiased judging, and zero guarantee of even placing in a single event.
For example, in gymnastics, judges can take off points wherever they want and can choose the score. We have to provide security for Aussies and to keep them safe. We mustn't send them into an unsafe environment for superficial niceties.
In my second substantive, I show the economic impact of this change. The Winter Olympics are renowned for their cost. Olympics cost so much. Their such a weight on our country that there's rarely been profit from past events.
But right now, the Australian government is focusing on us. They are taking the time and the problems of this pandemic and are controlling and solving them one at a time. In this crucial part of Australian history, this obsession that we have barely slipped out of and the $300 billion of debt the government is in are very real.
It's OK to be selfish sometimes. And that is now. We need to take the time as a nation to solve our own issues before we go running off to the next. If Australia sends thousands of people to Beijing, we'll be left with millions of dollars more in debt.
OK, let me narrow this down. For our main stakeholders, the athletes, we're talking about are the thousands of-- the athletes, we're talking thousands of first class flights, thousands of five star housing, individual care, and medical support, transport in China. It adds up. And we aren't going to be getting enough prize money that is won by the athletes for the athletes to repay these massive costs.
Money trees don't go behind Parliament House. The only economic benefit will be to China while we are left with crucial money, effort, and time wasted. Before helping China rebuild their economy, we need to fix ours. We can't try and fix other problems out of our control when we need to fix the problems in our country.
By going to the Winter Olympics, we are sending valuable resources that are going to be wasted that we need here in our country. We need to focus on rebuilding and regaining the money we lost, not giving away this money to other countries.
RIFAH SHAEERA: Before we get started, we would like to point out some flaws in the affirmative's case. The affirmative team stated that the Olympics are extremely expensive. We have three arguments against this. Firstly, in the 2022 Olympics, we are not the country hosting, which takes away a lot of the costs that we would say that we are incurring.
Secondly, prize money is not the only way that we get money from the Olympics. We get money from broadcasting events, and merchandise, and things like this. So money isn't that big of an issue in this case. And thirdly, the Olympics is also about more than money. We have to involve diplomatic relations, and unity, and getting together with the world to take part in sport.
The other team also stated that we are sending athletes into a political war zone. And we believe this is problematic as the purpose of the Olympics is to unite and compete regardless of conflict. The other team also stated that we would be sending out of practise athletes into the Winter Olympics. We believe that this is incorrect as our athletes trained for ages. And athletes even meant to go to the Olympics that was supposed to take place in Tokyo this year, would have started training possibly since the Olympics in 2016.
The other team also had arguments talking about COVID measures and how the pandemic would affect how our athletes are going to get there, what they're going to do when they are there. We believe that this is problematic as the 2022 situation will be very different, especially with the pandemic, which is changing constantly. And we believe this isn't a justifiable argument as we don't know what situation will be occurring at the time.
For example, vaccines are pretty much already been distributed to many places worldwide. So this may not be an issue at the 2022 Olympics. The other team also stated that in sports like gymnastics judges would be biassed. Firstly, under our topic, gymnasts aren't included in the Winter Olympics anyway. And secondly, there are panels of judges, which would work to decrease bias as we do in all Olympics.
The other team, again, stated that there is no guarantee of even judging, because we would be going to the Olympics in a country that we have a problematic relationship with. We believe this is flawed for three reasons. Firstly, the schools are broadcasted. And unfair judges would be noticed and called out, because this is such an important event.
Secondly, the judges are screened and results are monitored by machinery most of the time anyway, which gets rid of a lot of avenues that judges have for biassed judging. And thirdly, judges aren't even all from the same country. So saying that going to engage in sports in China and expecting that we would be subject to bias judging is flawed in general.
Good morning, affirmative team, adjudicators, and audience. We the negative team agree with the definition provided by the affirmative team, however, strongly disagree with that case. Through our arguments, we will prove to you that Australia should not boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics.
I will be discussing how the Winter Olympics are beneficial for diplomatic relationships, which are especially crucial at this point in time, how boycotting will impact the career opportunities of our athletes, and how if we go ahead with the affirmative's model, our economy and people who make money from the Olympics, will be negatively impacted.
My second speaker will be discussing how the Olympics will help to boost patriotism and pride in our country and also help countries worldwide unite at the event. Our team's best argument will present to you how remaining a part of the 2022 Winter Olympics will support Australia's diplomatic relationship with China.
Recently, this relationship between our nations has been compromised by issues existing between officials, trading, and policies. China has slowly been limiting imports from Australia since at least 2016, most recently, barring Australian lamb exports from entering their country.
This has been impacting a lot of our economy's profits and overall a harmonious relationship with China as a nation. After the affirmative team's proposed change, these so far smaller issues would be worsened as Chinese leaders and officials could very well see this boycott as withdrawal of diplomatic support and peace between our nations.
In 2018, the previous Winter Olympics was held in Pyeongchang in North Korea. There was already widely known and broadcast of tension between North Korea and the remainder of the world due to their weapons projects and border control implementations. Regardless, Australia still attended the competition. And from that, some would even say our relationship with them from some of those tensions had smoothed out.
Therefore, Australia should not boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics just because it is held in Beijing. Instead, we should use it to strengthen our political relationships, especially with China. My second argument is that by boycotting the Winter Olympics, our athletes will lose career opportunities.
Right now, our athletes benefit from competing at world wide sporting events as they get exposure, sponsorship deals, it can grow out their careers, and have the chance to make their country proud. By taking away this crucial career opportunity, in this case, the Winter Olympics, our athletes who train non-stop will miss out on everything I have just mentioned.
We need to consider this model we need to consider how this model, if implemented, will impact people's careers drastically. It will be incredibly selfish to deny athletes these opportunities. Athletes, such as skiers or skaters, deserve equal opportunities as runners or swimmers at the normal Olympics. This is another reason why we the negative team believe that Australia should not boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics. Thank you.
SOPHIE RIDLEY: It all started with an inquiry into the starting of coronaviruses, into coronavirus. Then China was stopping trade. Then there was the tweet, an Australian soldier holding a knife to a baby. Right now we're in the middle of a global pandemic and tensions between our countries are ever-growing.
China won't have any polite communications with Australia or even pick up the phone. What do you think that they even want us going to Beijing and the Olympics? Now let's point out some of the flaws in the opposition's case.
Firstly, they stated that athletes will, in fact, lose career opportunities. We rebuttal this that the Winter Olympics isn't the only event where athletes can compete in. There are so many other events, such as Olympics in the future and things at home, such as the snow at home where people can train.
They also said that North Korea tensions, there were a lot of North Korean tensions in the Olympics and it went fine then. Those were only tensions in North Korea. Korea is actually like two states, South Korea's also.
And Korea was actually the minority in that. The whole world was coming to Korea. And North Korea was scared that there was going to be something in the entire world. So it was actually easier for that to happen, because the entire world was looking on to see if North Korea would do anything crazy.
They also said the athletes have been training from 2016. Even so, an entire year and quarantine is a massive hit for athletes. It's really important they train every day, which they haven't been doing and they're just not as fit as they could be for practically some of the biggest things of their lives. Why not do it later when they actually can do the best that they can?
They also said because we aren't hosting the country, we aren't the hosting country, we aren't losing as much money. Paying for accommodation, flights, medical treatment, and much more, even though we aren't the host country, we still can't be losing that much money just to go to a country that won't even welcome us.
They also said that these athletes aren't under-trained. We say firstly, during COVID-19, they can't see coaches for training. They're at home with limited supplies and resources with no professional equipment to do their really important training. It's just like a slap in the face to be sending them trying to do their best when they can't, because they're not physically fit enough.
They also said that vaccines are on the way. Yes, but COVID will still be a big deal. Vaccines are only 90% effective. And there only needs to be one case in these Olympics and then practically everyone will be infected with COVID. That's not what we want to be bringing you back into Australia.
They also said diplomatic unity. There are plenty of other opportunities we must not send athletes into China for simple leisure. It's just for us to be watching on screens, watching our screens. We can't send our athletes into an unsafe environment.
Now onto my first substantive. I will discuss the health impacts of this change and how it's not safe to send our athletes to a health risk situation. Right now we are planning to send thousands of Aussies into a coronavirus hot spot only for the '22 Beijing Winter Olympics.
This will endanger our stakeholders, the athletes, and the audience members. Also it then endangers our country when they come back, because cases will go extremely fast. It is likely that we'll have a vaccine by then, but vaccines, like I said before in that rebuttal, are only 90% effective and haven't been tested and proved that much.
Also not everyone will get the vaccine, and we cannot guarantee that the athletes we are sending will have had vaccine and are protected from the coronavirus, which will very likely be an outbreak, because it is only one year into the future and coronavirus is very real.
Even if they do or have a vaccine, you can still catch a sickness, just more mildly. This means that they can still pass the sickness onto each other who are more vulnerable who don't have the vaccine, meaning coronavirus have a more bigger effect on these people.
COVID has damaged our lives to the worst. Do we really want to go back into a terrible COVID-19 crisis again? No, we all don't. Because we have seen it has devastatingly negative impacts on all aspects of our lives. If you think about it, the 2022 Winter Olympics are only just over a year away.
As we are reaching the end of 2020 and these Winter Olympics will be held sometime during January or February 2022 in the winter period in China, our coronavirus situation will not have cleared up completely yet. And there will be different waves coming in. And because as I just discussed earlier, the vaccine won't just make COVID-19 disappear with a shower of sparkles and fairy dust.
We need to care about an athletes' health. It's irresponsible for a government to be sending our prized athletes just to go into an unsafe space. It's not right as a government that we should be doing that. Firstly, if they get sick with COVID coronavirus, they'll be unable to compete anyway and will simply be a risk to the other athletes, and a waste of resources.
Secondly, they can bring back COVID-19 back to Australia. And we don't want to take that risk. If we implement this change, they'll be greatly reduced the risk of COVID-19.
For my second substantive, I'll discuss the health reasons why implementing this change is best for our athletes. With COVID-19 happening, many places have been shut. And of course, people are quarantined. This includes all the athletes who are planning to go into the Winter Olympics.
They haven't had any professional places to train or practise. Gyms have been shut and they can't travel to places where they have the ability to train and practise to the level that they need to continue their fitness and their career.
They have had minimal training abilities in their homes. Athletes will not have had enough preparation for the events they are wanting to do. It is clear that keeping our athletes in Australia is a better outcome, because of how under-prepared they are, which leaves athletes to not even feeling confident in their own abilities to be able to compete in the Winter Olympics.
Athletes want the best possible condition they can be in and a lack of training for the people they had in preparation is just another reason proving we should stop our athletes from going to participate in the Winter Olympics of January 2022. It is irresponsible as a government to be sending Australians into an unsafe place. And it's not right that we should be doing that. And that's why we should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics.
EMAREHI OKHAWERE: The opposition to him said COVID-19 makes it too dangerous and plus quarantines are too weak, so too much effort for everyone there. They also stated that COVID-19 risk will be reduced and they also stated that only 90% effective.
This is inaccurate, because this change comes into place in over year's time. A lot can take place in a year, as we have witnessed this year especially. We know from scientific statistics that COVID-19 won't ever fully disappear, like many other viruses that have turned into worldwide pandemics.
But COVID-19 might not be a major issue by this time or it could possibly get worse. This means that we cannot determine the audiences and rules for social distancing any time too soon. Again, 2022's situation will be extremely different. 2019 to 2020 was a drastic change. The same will happen 2020 to 2022.
The flu vaccine is the same amount of effective as the most recent vaccine. Why don't we stop our athletes from attending, worried about them catching the flu? The opposition team stated something about health aspects.
No training or practise in proper facilities. This is what they stated. There will always be places they can go to train. And if they wanted to train for the Olympics, then they will be ready as much as any other year. The opposition argued that there will be major health impacts as athletes will be untrained.
Firstly, not all athletes are untrained, as most have been able to train in a safe way. All other countries and other athletes are in the same boat and they have almost two years to train until the Olympics.
The opposing team has argued that the cost of the Olympics is too expensive. Firstly, we don't have to host, therefore won't be paying the cost of venues. Secondly, we make money from broadcasting events to selling merchandise. And lastly, that the Olympics are about more than money. They're about unity and pride.
They also stated that there are many career opportunities. However, the Winter Olympics is some of the biggest and this may be the last Winter Olympics some athletes can get. The opposition team argued that judges would be biassed. Firstly, judges will be caught out as scores are broadcasted and people can spot bias.
Secondly, for sports, they use panels of judges do to avoid bias. For example, we have a panel of adjudicators to see judges debating to get the most accurate outcome.
Good morning, affirmative team, to our audience who are able to join us, and adjudicators. My team's third argument is how boycotting the Olympics will negatively impact our economy. Our fourth argument is international unity. And our fifth argument is patriotism.
My team's third argument would explain how boycotting the Olympics will very negatively impact our economy as it would take away many of our avenues of getting money from the Olympics, and procedures, and formalities around the event.
Currently, many different aspects of our economy are advantaged by the Olympics taking place. Many Australian media outlets cover the event getting money from viewers and sponsorship from the coverage. As I've discussed, curious of individual athletes to make money as well as their benefited from the Olympics team. Merchandise manufacturers also make money from their products, reaching countless people at the event.
After the affirmative's model is implemented, all these key areas of our economy will be negatively due to them losing the Olympics as a source of income. Media coverage will not take place, which should harm the money we receive from people, constantly viewing the event on our media outlets.
Athletes, especially Olympic athletes, who depend fully on this income would lose this critical way of getting money. Merchandise producers would be extremely harmed by us taking away the Olympics as a source of income. This is critical as these and COVID-19 and other unavoidable issues, Australia's economy has been very disadvantaged this year.
Attending these Olympics could help us regain our footing and help our economy thrive once again. This is another reason why we the negative team believe that we should not boycott 2020 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In my team's fourth argument, I will be discussing how international unity would be beneficial for Australian teams to have a connection and friendship with other countries, including China. Right now Olympics are a major way for countries all over the world to unite come together, putting our differences aside.
Olympics are crucial and significant path for friendships amongst countries. And Olympics is a path to make strong connections and relationships with other countries that can last and support Australia. Regardless of conflict, we speak the same language in sports.
We cannot boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. If we do, we will contradict what the Olympics is all about. The Olympics are about coming together no matter the current events of conflict. It's a chance to unite over a common interest. And we cannot give this up. This is why we should not boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In our team's fifth argument, I will be revealing how the Olympics will help to boost patriotism and pride in our country. Currently, watching the Olympics is a huge excitement for many families across Australia, especially seeing an individual represent your country.
Gathering all together as a family and nation to watch the Winter Olympics allows people to feel a sense of pride for their nation. The Australian teams who will be representing the country in this major sport will feel a sense of pride knowing their nation will come together to watch them perform in such events.
If the affirmative team's change is implemented, there will be no more coming together, no more feeling a sense of pride for Australian teams and athletes for the Winter Olympics, not only in-person audiences from Australia and China, but viewers from home as well.
Australia remaining in the 2022 Winter Olympics and participating despite our minor conflicts with China will be boosting our morale and uniting individuals in their love for winter sports, so they can watch the competitions together and support the Australian represented in sports.
JOSEPHINE O'BAOILL: In this debate, there are three main categories. There is political. There is health. And there are the economic impacts of making our change. Our first speaker spoke about the relations and the political impacts of the relations and tensions between China and Australia, as well as the economic impacts of implementing our change.
Our second speaker spoke about the health impacts, speaking about COVID-19 and that athletes are out of practise from having no gyms for a whole entire year of quarantine. The other team talks about the, also about political relations and the economy with their first speaker. And their second talks about patriotism and unity that would apparently be formed between countries.
So onto the political of this debate, relations between China and Australia are frigid. This is a fact. It's a simple fact that we are after accumulative events have a difficult relationship with China at the moment. The other team states that there will be a benefit, but we have no way of knowing this. We have no way of knowing if China will even let Australians in for the Winter Olympics.
There are very, very, there are definitely some impacts that would 100% happen if we allowed Aussies to go to the Olympics, namely that Aussies would definitely be ostracised by plenty of supporters who feel that Australians have, we are the cause of the frigid relations.
We have to understand and the other team has to understand that there would definitely be impacts that are negative. And the risk is far too high. Because we cannot just risk our athletes' safety for the one-off chance that maybe, maybe crazy tensions will just disappear and just disappear overnight.
The other team provides no evidence that these tensions will just disappear and we'll suddenly be all patriotic and have unity. Just they offer no, absolutely no evidence that this would ever happen. That crazy tensions don't just disappear. We have to make, sending Australians overseas to potentially be in an unsafe situation will do nothing except put Australians at risk.
They talk about patriotism, and unity, and a sense of pride. We can still watch it on TV and still have that same sense of pride. But we have to talk about safety. The safety of our athletes will always come before a sense of pride and simple leisure. There are so many other opportunities and so many other places that our country can represent. This is not the only place that will allow that we will ever have a sense of patriotism and pride.
There will be no more coming together. There are so many other opportunities for coming together in unity. We cannot send Australians into this for these superficial arguments of unity when there are so many other safe opportunities. The key here is that we have to keep our athletes safe.
Now on to the health aspects. The main issue in the health is COVID-19. COVID-19 will definitely still be here in January 2022 with 90% effective vaccine and an incredibly fast-going virus, we can't just assume that it's suddenly going to get better.
As the other team, their second speaker, does state, it could get worse. So you agree. The COVID vaccine is less effective than the flu virus. And COVID-19 is much, much more dangerous and spreads at an incredibly high rate. So this comparison is invalid and we have to understand the COVID-19 is much more of a risk than the other team states.
As they state, a lot can take place in a year. We cannot just allow, make sure that people can, we cannot assume that COVID-19 will just be gone forever and that vaccines will make sure that this can totally happen with an entirely safe place. The world isn't like that. COVID-19 is an incredibly deadly pandemic and we can't just assume this.
Another aspect of the health is that our athletes are out of practise. There are athletes have had home gyms. They have not been able to see professional coaches. They have had no professional equipment. And they haven't been able to train with teammates in team sports.
These are all things that have been happening for a full year of quarantine. And we can't just expect, it will be disrespectful to throw our athletes in with absolutely no training for them.
They have been training at home for a year. And the actual debate is about winter sports. How can you train for a winter sport at home? You don't have a ski slope in your backyard. It's not how it works. And it's disrespectful to the athletes to just throw them in and expect them to be able to do it.
The last argument in this debate, issue in this debate that I will be speaking about is the economy. We are not the country hosting, yes, which means that no money will be gained by housing, by flights, by stadiums, and merch sold at things. We cannot assume that broadcasting things at home will repay the millions lost by giving five star hotels and business flights. There's just no way that that would ever happen.
They also state that this would help us regain our footing in the economy. But how? If we are losing millions by sending these athletes overseas and they claim all these things that we are not the host country, so we would not get. So there's absolutely no evidence that we would gain money. We would always lose money. And that has been seen time and time again, even when we weren't in an absolute economic crisis. Thank you.
CHELSEA YOUNG: We the affirmative team have narrowed the debate down to three key issues being career opportunities in economy, international relationships, and pride and morale. The first issue was careers and economy.
The opposition's stance was that we have no right, the opposition's stance was that we will not improve our economy or careers as the cost of the Olympics is far too expensive. Firstly, we aren't the host of the Olympics, so we won't be paying the cost of the venues.
Secondly, even though we are paying for accommodation and medical care, money is not the only factor of the Olympics. It's also about unity and peace, which are not superficial arguments. They are important for a country. Secondly, we make money from broadcasting events to millions of people, up to millions of people and selling merchandise. We also need to consider the careers of the athletes attending and how they make money.
They also stated that there are many career opportunities for athletes. However, the Winter Olympics is one of the biggest career opportunities. And this may be the last Winter Olympics some athletes can perform at.
Our stance on this issue was that the Olympics benefit so many different stakeholders from the athletes themselves and their careers who get a chance to gain sponsorship deals in front of viewers or audiences, or all the broadcasting stations, all the merchandise sellers.
The Olympics benefit everyone. This year, we missed out on the Olympics in Tokyo and many athletes weren't able to have as many opportunities. We can't deny our Winter Olympians this major event as well for petty reasons. The media also gets money from broadcasting events to millions of people. And we would also be letting them down.
The second issue was unity and diplomatic relationships. The opposing stance was that there are plenty of other activities for diplomatic relation strengthening between Australia and China. Firstly, we would like an example of these diplomatic relationships as the opposing team has already stated that China does not wish to contact us. By accepting this offer at the Winter Olympics we will begin to work towards improving diplomatic relationships between our countries.
They also stated that we have no way of knowing if China will even accept us. But because the Olympics are about unity, they will most likely accept us, if conflict is often disregarded as sport is the common interest . But also stated that judges would be biassed. Firstly, judges will be called out, and scores are broadcast, and people can spot bias.
Secondly, most judges on the panels are not even from the same country. No matter who they support, there will be many unbiased judges. And as we use panels to get the most accurate outcome, bias will not be a problem. They also stated that we are sending athletes into a political war zone. This is problematic as the purpose of the Olympics is unity, and regardless of conflict, sport is a common interest that all countries can unite over.
They also stated that there is a major health aspect in sending athletes to the Olympics as they have not been able to train or practise in proper facilities. Firstly, there will always be places that they can train. And most athletes have found safe places to both quarantine and go to their sporting venues.
Secondly, it is their choice whether they wish to attend a lot for the sake of their health. Finally, not all athletes are untrained as might have been able to train safe way. And if they have not been, all other athletes and countries have been in the same boat during this pandemic. So they will have had equal opportunities to train. And they also have the last two years to train for the Olympics. And we have not been in quarantine for nearly a year.
They also stated that it's not worth it because COVID-19 will still be around. COVID-19 is still a threat. We aren't assuming that it will completely go away and we understand its danger. However, with a mostly effective vaccine and a minimised number of participators in the audience, our athletes will be safe with almost two years and the vaccine being currently distributed before the Olympics takes place.
The final issue was pride. The opposition's stance was that the Olympics, the opposition's stance was that this is not the only way to gain a sense of pride for our country or for patriotism. We agree with this statement, but this event is a major way to boost morale and pride.
They also said that we can have the same sense of pride without putting our athletes in harm's way. Firstly, Australians will not be in harm's way. Their accommodation is secure and they won't be sent into a political war zone either. They aren't roaming the streets, they aren't roaming the streets non-stop. They'll be completely safe. And these security measures are always taken during the Olympics.
Our stance is that as the Olympics are often exciting events, it means people get to support their country and show pride. It also boosts morale and people get to watch their athletes from their country try their hardest. The Olympics are necessary for unity and we should seize the chance to come together.
Boycotting will only harm our economy, our athletes, and our fragile relationship with China. The Olympics give people a chance to feel proud and to unite. Why would we pass it up? Thank you. [applause]
INDIGO CROSSWELLER: So first things first, the whole adjudication panel wanted to say that this was a really, really high quality debate. And we were incredibly impressed by the quality of all speakers on both teams. You guys had really, really high level arguments.
We think you all knew a significant amount about what the purpose of different aspects of the Olympics, and about international relationships, and things like that. It was all incredibly impressive. So you should all be very, very proud of yourselves.
How this will work is we'll give you guys feedback in individual teams later. So I'm going to go through the results of the debate and how I saw it. And then I'll give the results and then we'll do congratulations in the end. So in terms of how I saw the debate, I'm roughly going to split this into three areas. But I do think that's not a perfect split, because I think they were actually about four things that were really important to discuss here.
But the first one combines two of them, which is that there's two principles which this debate operates on. The first is about health and the second is about politics and our relationship with China. In terms of health, the affirmative team had this overarching idea that health is the most significant thing in this debate. So if there was any risk to the health of athletes or observers we might go, then we would be justified in boycotting on that basis.
I think the negative team responds in a couple of ways. The first, and I think the best, response to the negative team is just to say that world changes very quickly at the current moment. And that the shift from 2019 to now has been quite large. So the shift to 2020 could be equally large and significant.
And I think that means that their idea, which is that we shouldn't decide whether or not we would go now, we don't need to make provisions for that, is quite a good one. I also think they give us lots of reasons to believe that COVID might not be as big a threat then as to justify boycotting the Olympics entirely.
They tell us things like the likelihood that a vaccine is developed and widely spread out. And also the fact that COVID is something we're going to have to live with, similarly to other viruses. We think that material is quite good. We think that negative gives us a lot of reasons to think, that even though the affirmative team proves COVID is a big threat and might be a significant risk, it's probably not enough of a risk to justify making such a big decision so far in the future.
So then the other principle is about the relationship that we have with China. And we think the affirmative team does a really excellent job here of setting up the state of Australia's relationship with China currently and the kind of they describe it as frigid relationship that exists.
And the negative team responds in a couple of ways. They tell us, and I think they give us quite a lot of explanation here about the purpose of the Olympics and they tell us that aside from economics or any other arguments or practical effects, the Olympics is something which is always participated in even if there are international tensions which exist.
And I think that material is quite good. And the panel weighs that quite heavily. But again, they say that rebuilding this relationship, at the first step towards doing that is accepting an invitation to attend the Olympics in Beijing. And that that has the capacity to rebuild that relationship.
Ultimately, we think that both teams here would have benefited if they'd engage more with the other team's idea of that relationship and what it looked like to boycott or enter the Olympics. But we think that the negative team explains in more detail why refusing to boycott and accepting that invitation has the possibility of rebuilding that relationship. Whereas the affirmative team doesn't do enough work to prove why cutting that relationship off because of the state of it is going to be a good thing.
So aside from the principles, which we think are not necessarily entirely clear in this debate. We think both teams could have done more to engage with each other. But we generally think that maybe there are more benefits to engaging with China and rebuilding that relationship. And the health risks are not necessarily as significant as affirmative claims.
Next issue to talk about is the effect on Australia. And in this issue is the economic costs and also the argument about pride and patriotism. The affirmative team firstly says that the cost of attending the Olympics are significant and also that it would be wrong to boost the Chinese economy by sending people over on airplanes, and paying for their hotels, and things like that, while hurting our economy because of the millions of dollars which that would cost.
The whole panel thinks this is quite a good argument. They explain it in a lot of detail. But we do think that the negative team responds in a couple of ways. I think that initial responses, which are to point out that there are other avenues of income which we get from the Olympics, things like broadcasting and merchandise, they do prove would provide us some money.
But I think the better response is an aspect of weighting, which is where the negative teen tells us that economic cost is not as important as international unity and participating in this important event. And we think that's quite a good point to make. So then the negative team tells us that participation in the Olympics is important to building national pride and patriotism. And that's significant to building unity within Australia.
The affirmative responds. I think. In one significant way, which is that they say that we're not stopping people from feeling that sense of pride by watching at home. But I don't think that the affirmative team does not explain why that would build patriotism and pride given that we would be boycotting the Olympics. So they wouldn't be watching Australian athletes.
But the negative team is able to show that by participating in those Olympics, it provides an avenue for that pride and the benefits to Australia come. So at the end of that issue about the effect on Australia, we think that even though it might cost some money to go to the Olympics, ultimately, that money is less important than the pride, and patriotism, and the participation in the Olympics and part of the kind of global community might bring.
The final issue in this debate then is what is the effect on athletes. Because the affirmative team brings us a lot of material about why participation might be actively bad for people who have their careers pinned on attending these Olympics. The first thing they tell us is athletes are generally going to be far less prepared than they would be otherwise.
And they tell us this is because they've been in lockdown. They're not able to access coaches, or training teams, and things like that. I think they give us a lot of the panel thinks that they give us a lot of material here to explain why they might not be able to access the same level of training as they otherwise would.
But we do think that the new team was able to show that athletes have been able to train throughout the year. And also it's significantly important to some athletes that they're able to attend these Olympics, because they might age out. So even though it's true that the affirmative team tells us there are other opportunities for athletes to compete, that wasn't necessarily true for all athletes. And when the negative tells us this might be something of a lost opportunity, that was a significant harm if we were to boycott.
But additionally, the affirmative team tells us that athletes might be the victim of biassed judging. And that might mean that it's better for us not to attend at all rather than our athletes go and have their hopes crushed, because biassed judges mark them down or whatever the case may be.
We think this is quite a good argument. But the negative team, again, is able to divide us quite a lot of reasons to think that we could counterbalance this risk. I think the best material outcomes when they tell us that judges are often from all around the world and that they're often screened in different ways. But they give us different accountability mechanisms, things like having a panel of judges for different events, but also having scrutiny by technology and things like that.
So at the end of this issue about the effect on athletes, even though we think it's true that maybe athletes might not have done as much training as they could have otherwise, and even though there may be a risk of some bias judging, the negative team is able to show that generally athletes still have two years to prepare and have still been training. And also that we're able to mitigate that risk of bias in lots of different ways. So the negative team has won this debate. But congratulations to both of teams.
JUSTINE CLARKE: Thanks so much, Indigo, for that very thorough adjudication. Congratulations to Callahan College Waratah. You are state champions for 2020. I'd like to welcome a speaker from Armidale to congratulate the winning team.
BROOKE STAINTON: On behalf of the affirmative team, we'd like to just congratulate you guys. You did really well. It was a really tough debate and you really deserved it. You had some really good points. Good job.
JUSTINE CLARKE: Thank you. And Waratah, if you'd like to respond?
TESLA MOORE: I would also like to thank the affirmative team for debating us. It was an honour to debate with you. And congratulations on making it this far. Thanks.
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