Success in debating lies not only in winning, but in the ability to analyse accurately, structure an argument and a speech quickly and to deliver one’s views and insights convincingly as part of a seamless team. It is an important skill that helps one with oral presentations and similar occurrences, and might play a role in one’s choice of career. To develop debaters’ skills regular club meetings are devoted to learning the basics of debating and discussing current affairs to heighten the students’ awareness of the world around them and the way in which such knowledge could be employed in a debate.

Training sessions are often held with groups from other schools and involve experienced trainers, including officials from the University of Stellenbosch Debating Society. In previous years several successful teams and individuals came from the Somerset College debating groups: the 2009 Boland Junior Champions; the 2011 Boland Senior Champions; and two Western Cape representatives at the National Championships.

Debating is more than a general chat about life and stuff; it is not a free-for-all shouting match between people holding different points of view. It is a highly stylized, highly challenging intellectual game, requiring high level listening skills and the application of subtle verbal techniques.