There are three segments within the larger community of speech and debate: students, clubs and parents. The three work together to put on a great tournament, like the tournament I brought my club to over the past three days. I took three panaramic photos of each segment.
First, the students. They practice and practice for their opportunity to perform for the judges, plus the friends they manage to bring along. The element of competition among students is strong, but healthy. The students desire to see their “opponents” do well because it helps them aspire to doing better. Students like watching other speeches, and tournaments buzz about those speeches that are unique and great.
Next, clubs. There were approximately 150 students at the tournament representing some 20-or-so clubs. There is a reasonable amount of club loyalty and desire to do well as a whole, but the community as a whole is incredibly healthy. Friends from various clubs are best friends with others from other clubs. It’s really something to see them gather to compete, and have so much fun together.
Finally, the parents. This is the judges lounge, and the parents have developed tremendous relationships with one another. We’re all in this for our kids, but the parents get a social thrill out of it, too.
There are other segments in this community (little siblings, alumni, grandparents, educators, administrators), but these three are the lion’s share in the economy of it all. And they’re the ones I took good panaramic pictures with.