Heart of Europe: A Journey

Heart of Europe: A Journey

I’m Ondřej Fischer, and for the last four years, I have been attending the Heart of Europe  International Debating Tournament. It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this great event each year, and I guess the best place to start this story is at the very beginning.

When I first heard about this Tournament, I felt a bit nervous. At the time, I had little experience in debating and judging, so naturally I felt that I was unprepared for an event of this magnitude. However, it only took me one whole day to realise that I would be a fool to turn this opportunity down. I’ve signed up as an independent adjudicator, and after meeting all the other adjudicators and volunteers, I’ve realised what a great event this Tournament was going to be. Once that realisation has hit, all the tension left my body, and I was ready to begin.

During my first year at Heart of Europe, I’ve mostly observed in silence. I didn’t know what to expect, and as it is with such things, I was afraid to look foolish for trying something new. Although very quickly, I began to notice what this event is all about. It’s about meeting new people, getting to know other cultures and customs, and most of all, having a great time.

Each year young people travel across great distances to visit the heart of Europe, which is the beautiful city of Olomouc. It is an opportunity that I believe no one can turn down. Visiting a new country, meeting people from all over the world, and much more. And each year I look forward to meeting these people and learning about their journey, and how excited they are if this edition is their first. Of course, I am also very much looking forward to meeting all the friends that I have already made from previous years, and learning all the new exciting things that happened in their lives.

My personal interest lies in observing the minds of our young generations. Seeing how they apply logic, use common sense, talk about topics of great importance, and watch how they behave during debates. And in every debate that I’ve adjudicated, I am impressed by the level of maturity and sportsmanship that the young generations display. I cannot even imagine what great future awaits them.

Every debate is a place of learning. The motions chosen for debates are always interesting, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn something new. Each year, I walk out of this event having learned something new about the world, may it be politics or culture. And I believe this is a massive boost for the young debaters who also learn of these topics at a relatively early age. I see this as an effective preparation for life.

To summarise, I have enjoyed every step of this journey, and I’ve immensely appreciated the opportunity I have been given to participate in this event. There are very few things that I look forward to more than this event. The Heart of Europe is not something anyone should miss out on. I’d heartily recommend to everyone to take part in this event, and I personally cannot wait for next year!

By Ondřej Fischer.