Business students from Northampton College have made it through to the finals of a national debating competition, where they will compete for a £500 first prize.

The team, made up of Level 3 students Adam Beesley, Samad Miah, Kiera O’Neil, Jack O’Loughlin and Manu Bolohan, will take on counterparts from schools and colleges across the country in the finals of ‘Debate Mate’ at The University of Law’s Bloomsbury Campus in London this Saturday.

The competition has seen the students take on a variety of roles to present their arguments and gain a better understanding of the importance of language and framing an argument to influence others.

Kiera O’Neil said: “Getting to the finals in London is something we are extremely proud of. I think debating is a skill that everyone should learn and it's a fantastic opportunity that has been given to us. I would encourage anyone get involved as it will allow you to exercise different ways of critical thinking, develop your oral and written communication skills and meet people from across the world.”

Jack O’Loughlin said: "I've learnt new skills about formal debating and, while it can be intimidating, it is exhilarating. I am grateful for this opportunity and I am glad to have been a part of it."

Manu Bolohan added: “Taking part in Debate Mate has helped me gain much more experience and knowledge on how to be able to argue on both sides of a given situation. It has given me the opportunity to meet people and enhance my interpersonal skills.” 

The winning team will receive a £100 Amazon voucher for each team member and a £500 voucher for the college.

Samad Miah said: “Debate Mate has provided me with experiences that took me outside my comfort zone. These experiences have led me to become more confident and happier with who I am and how I've developed from a young, shy person to a person who I can be proud of. I'll look back at these moments and thank the college and my friends and myself for helping me improve myself and become more confident in myself.”

Adam Beesley added: “The Debate Mate competition has helped me build confidence in speaking publicly and has been a fun experience.”