Students Debate At National School Tournament

November 28, 2016

Bermuda’s students were given the chance to show off their skills during the Bermuda Debate Society’s 27th Annual National Schools’ Debate Tournament, held on Saturday [Nov 26].

The tournament saw 21 teams from 9 schools – a total of 63 debaters – participate in the day-long competition. The tournament involves three preliminary rounds followed by a final round.

Berkeley and CBA Bermuda Nov 28 2016

The competition also included the work of coaches, chairpersons and timers, and 46 volunteer judges.

The prepared motion for the senior school level was “This House supports mandatory voting in government elections” while the middle school teams debated “This House would abolish zoos”.

BHS B Senior Bermuda Nov 28 2016

“This House would ban fast food restaurants” was debated by both levels in the third round, which was an impromptu round.

Following the three preliminary rounds, there was a grand final for the senior school level involving Bermuda High School Team A versus Bermuda High School Team B.

BHS Middle team B Bermuda Nov 28 2016

The middle school level had Bermuda High School Team B debating Somersfield Academy Team B.

The overall winner at the senior school level, winning the Victoria Cox Memorial Trophy, was Bermuda High School Team A [Lillian Griffiths, Brianna Correia, and Ashleigh Tomkins], which was coached by Harvey Cornish.

BHS Senior A with coach Bermuda Nov 28 2016

The Bermuda Junior Service League Trophy for runner-up at the senior school level was awarded to Bermuda High School Team B [Saxon Davis, Cerra Simmons, and Sophia Marsh].

The overall winner at middle school level was Bermuda High School Team B [Leila Prado, Leahnae Morton-Richardson, and Gabriela Madeiros].

Judges Bermuda Nov 28 2016

Bermuda High School Team B at middle school level was coached by Robert Higson.

The CNA Butterfield & Son Trophy for the Runner Up at middle school level was awarded to Somersfield Academy Team B [Isabel Roe, Feven Brewster, and Xavier Lee].

Middle School finalists Bermuda Nov 28 2016

Sierra Brangman of The Berkeley Institute’s Team A was awarded both the top individual speaker prizes for the senior school level. Sierra’s high scores in the prepared motion rounds led to her winning the Victoria Cox Memorial Plate.

For the highest individual speaking score in the impromptu round, Sierra was awarded the Michelle Outerbridge Memorial Plaque.

Nick Kempe and Ciara Burrows Bermuda Nov 28 2016

Rounding out the top five individual speakers at senior level were Ashleigh Tomkins of Bermuda High School Team A, Tyrese Coakley of The Berkeley Institute Team A, Sophia Marsh of Bermuda High School Team B, and Yasser Baia of The Berkeley Institute Team A.

The top individual speaking score at middle school level was achieved by Kristy Sanchez of Bermuda High School Team A. Kristy’s score meant she was awarded the Bermuda Junior Service League Plate.

Premier with Somersfield Bermuda Nov 28 2016

Rounding out the top five individual speakers at the middle school level were Leila Prado [Bermuda High School Team B], Raina De Fontes [Dynamic Debaters & Learners Team A], Ywione Darrell [Dynamic Debaters & Learners Team A], and Noah De Silva [Warwick Academy Team A].

The first National Schools’ Debate Tournament was held in 1989 as a community service project launched by the Bermuda Junior Service League under President Victoria Cox. The project’s Mission Statement was to provide a forum in which all secondary school students island wide could come together & participate in nonathletic competition.

Robert Bermuda Nov 28 2016

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Debate Society [BDS] was founded in 1990 and was a 25 year partner in the Tournament. The Bermuda Debate Society is charged with promoting and fostering the art of debate island-wide through education and the organization of debate-related activities.

“This was the first year that the Tournament was hosted by the BDS alone, following the winding up of the Bermuda Junior Service League. In its 27th consecutive year, thousands of students and judges have participated in the Tournament. Many debaters have gone on to represent Bermuda in international competition.”

Top 5 Bermuda Nov 28 2016

“The BDS Board believes all debaters have taken away skills that benefit them in school and in general life. Many past debaters are now involved with debating in Bermuda, such as President of the BDS, Akilah Beckles, who also acted as Chair of Judges and Coaches for the Tournament.

“Trevor Leitch, another former debater, was Tournament Convenor. BDS Board members Christianna Dakin, Marisa Sharpe, Susan Behrens and Gladstone Thompson carried out roles as Facilities Liaison, Catering Manager, Team Registrar, and Materials Manager, respectively.”

Whitney outside Bermuda Nov 28 2016

“The Board members of the BDS are especially grateful to those who volunteered their time to participate as judges in this tournament, without whom the students’ debating skills could not be assessed.

“Catering for the Tournament was provided with the generous support of donations made to the BDS by the English Speaking Union, John Barritt & Son Ltd, and The Marketplace Ltd.”

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  1. Teacher says:

    Well done to the fantastic Bermuda students!