Mayor of Athlone, Aengus O’Rourke is encouraging fifth and sixth class children to sign up for the upcoming Primary Schools Debating Competition
The competition, which has been both introduced and sponsored by the mayor, is intended to promote the idea and art of debating in primary schools.
“I am encouraging the primary schools in the Athlone District to participate in the competition, which will run from this autumn to May 2018,” Mayor O’Rourke said.
“From improving speaking and listening skills to building self-esteem, learning to debate has many benefits for a primary-school child, and prepares them well for secondary school. As mayor, I am sponsoring the event this year and hope that future Mayors of Athlone will keep the competition going in the years ahead.
“Each school in the Athlone District has been invited to participate and I would really encourage them to be involved. The more schools that get involved the more fun and interest it will generate with the children.”
Mayor O’Rourke added that each school will hold their own internal debating competition, with each winning team going on to compete against one another in a knockout format. The semi-finals and the final will be held in the Athlone Council Chamber next spring. Teams will be made up of three students from either fifth or sixth class. The route to the final could involve five debates against other schools.
“The competition will have many beneficial aspects to it, apart from the obvious educational benefit, it will also be a great opportunity for students to mingle with children from other schools,” Mayor O’Rourke continued. I have no doubt that it will be a fun and very worthwhile experience for all. There are no entry fees or costs for the school to consider.
“I would like to thank my council colleague, Cllr Ailish McManus, for her great help and assistance with this initiative.”