A Coleg Menai student is one step away from representing Wales on the world stage in a global debating competition.

Sophia Wallo, age 18, was part of a winning team with fellow student Gethin Jones, age 17, in the regional round of the Wales School Debating Championships at Bangor’s Ysgol Tryfan recently.

Sophia’s impressive performance saw her joining competitive squad trials in Cardiff where she was selected to join the Development Squad for Team Wales in the World Schools Debating Championships.

Coleg Menai A-Level lecturer Steven Blight said: “Sophia is a natural debater and she’s the best that I’ve seen in my time in college.

“Getting into the development squad is an amazing achievement and shows how motivated and driven Sophia is to develop her debating skills further.

“Sophia and Gethin both did very well to win the regional competition – I am very happy and delighted for them both and I thought they were worthy winners on the day.”

The World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) is a global competition for national high school debate teams.

Squads from over 50 countries around the world gather to debate 13 different topics set by an international panel of experts.

Sophia, who hopes to study law at university, will now undergo training with the Welsh Development Squad with the chance to go on to represent team Wales on the world stage at the 2019 championships in Sri Lanka in July and August.

Jo Gough, Debating programmes officer with world education charity the English Speaking Union, said: “Trials this year were incredibly competitive and I do hope Sophia is proud to have made it to this stage.

“The Development Squad is an opportunity to access advanced training in the WSDC format and for us to assess their candidacy for the team.”

Steven Blight added: “The students benefit greatly from debating. They become much more confident in their public speaking and stronger in their critical thinking abilities.

“They become very good at making robust arguments in support of an idea and skilled at identifying flaws in the arguments of others.”

For more information about A-Level courses at Coleg Menai, visit www.gllm.ac.uk/a-levels.

PHOTO: Bangor students Gethin Jones and Sophia Wallo won the regional Wales School Debating Championships round at Ysgol Tryfan in November.