WINNING TEAM University College London
Are we sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.
Many moons ago in the Autumn of 2010 the University started to advertise try outs for something called ‘Telders’. We may not have known it then but that word would be the sole answer to 80% of questions asked of us and in a few months it would be the only thing we could coherently talk about.
Once us ‘lucky’ few were picked for the team work began. The topic was pirates. A little more exciting than our usual studies! Also something that none of us had studied before.
We decided to tackle this mighty challenge by meeting once or twice a week and before long the research had consumed our lives. By the time the memorial deadline came round for Nationals the team was our family, the only people that truly understood the work and stress that we were going through. Luckily our team had bonded from the very first meeting and so we were all tight friends. The team suffered a loss of a member quite early on and so our 5th member stepped forward as an oralist and so we soldiered on…
As the memorial deadline loomed over us the library seemed to be our home, stress took over and tensions rose. We were on the final stretch but still work had be done, there was nothing for it - we had to meet and finish it. Saturday morning we meet in the office little did we know that we weren’t to leave that office for another 36 hours. When finally we crawled out into the open air clutching the first copies of our finished memorials spirits were low, exhaustion had overwhelmed our senses, but we were finished, and that felt good!
From then on it was into advocacy training, twice weekly practices in front of any judges we could find. We may have thought that the work would slacken off. How wrong we were. Reworking arguments, more researching, test them in oral practise, get destroyed by questions, go and research some more, and so it continued until finally we were feeling pretty happy with our submissions.
And so we came to the National Rounds. The universities gathered in the halls of LSE each team gathered around small tables whispering to each other urgently about last minute changes and nerves. Whether it was through the caffeine rush, hyperness or a genuine belief that we wouldn’t make it through for some reason our team was a little bit loud and giggly, I distinctly remember a couple of us bursting into song every so often. The moots were fantastic though and on the 2nd day it was announced that Team 2 would be going through to moot for England! Team 2? Who’s team 2? Wait, we’re team 2!! After a few seconds of silence and confusion we erupted into cheers and squeals of delight. UCL were going to the Netherlands!
A lot of work still had to be done but first of all we had a well deserved 2 week break of all things Telders. Unsurprisingly while this had seemed like a blissful holiday at first within a few days we began to miss each other and our submissions. Alas the team suffered yet another loss as a mooter had to step down and so the three of us remained.