2020 E.C. Leslie Debate Championships

Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association

The Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association is a non-profit organization that helps children and youth be effective communicators, deep thinkers, and engaged community members.

E.C. Leslie Debate Championships

SEDA, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan Debate Society and the College of Law, was proud to host the 2020 E.C. Leslie Debate Championship on March 7th at the University of Saskatchewan. One hundred and twenty-two debaters competed in two rounds of prepared and two rounds of Impromptu debate, all with a legal theme.

  • Prepared: This house would allow cameras in courtrooms.
  • Impromptu: THW give children final say over who has custody of them (instead of a judge)
  • Impromptu THW not publish the names of an accused unless and until they are convicted of a crime.
We would like to The Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for a generous grant that helped us run a fantastic tournament!

Thank you to our dedicated staff and volunteers

We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of our staff and volunteers. We can not express enough thanks for your efforts. This tournament would not have been possible without the following people.

  • Andy Luu and Kehan Fu - Tournament Hosts & School Coordinator
  • Abby Vadeboncoeur and The USDS Students - Tournament Volunteers
  • Wendy James - Chief Adjudicator
  • Melissa Ong - SEDA Executive Director
  • Lindsay Kiesman - SEDA Administrative Assistant
  • Leora Diakuw and Wardah Mahmood - SEDA Program Coordinators
  • January Diakuw - Tabbing Volunteers
  • The students and volunteers who moderated the debates

Thank you volunteer judges

Our volunteer judges included university debaters, parents, teachers, long-time coaches, former coaches, SEDA alumni, and long-time community volunteers. Thank you for taking time out of your weekend to make this event happen. We can not say this enough, debate would not happen without you!

Thank you to our judges at the Open Final: Leora Diakuw, Andy Luu, Dana Brûlé, Sarah Myers, Nohl Perdue, Shivani Tauh, and Aly Sparks.

Thank you Rob Norris

Rob Norris, Senior Government Relations Officer, Canadian Light Source, attended provincials as a Special Guest. His words brought encouragement to judges and students!

2020 E.C. Leslie Provincial Winners

Beginner Division Teams

  1. Peyton M. & Avery M (SHED)
  2. Eddie B. & Carson W. (Saltcoats)
  3. Basmah O. & Laiba K. (Regina Huda)
  4. Mehtab B. & Ibrahim H. (Greystone)
  5. J.B. & Adam M. (Greystone)

Beginner Division Speakers

  1. Carson W. (Saltcoats)
  2. Ibrahim H. (Greystone)
  3. Afrukhta S.(Greystone)
  4. Peyton M. (SHED)
  5. Laiba K. (Regina Huda)

Intermediate Division Teams

  1. Samuel W. & Lucas L. (Greystone)
  2. Lariab M. & Aiman I. (Regina Huda)
  3. Isabelle M. & Mahrukh H. (Caswell)
  4. Lucas Tarry & S.B. (Dr. John G. Egnatoff)
  5. Paras R. & Josh L. (Sylvia Fedoruk)

Intermediate Division Speakers

  1. Isabelle M. (Caswell)
  2. Aaleyah A. (Sylvia Fedoruk)
  3. Mahrukh H. (Caswell)
  4. Ayesha A. (Sylvia Fedoruk)
  5. Samuel W. (Greystone)

Novice Division Teams

  1. Ahmed S. & Saad Safiq. (Regina Huda)
  2. Hira H. & K.H. (Bedford)
  3. Zachary F. & Usman C. (Centennial)
  4. Matthew H. & Blake K. (Bedford)
  5. Daisy D. & Julianna S. (Swift Current)

Novice Division Speakers

  1. Hira H. (Bedford)
  2. K.H. (Bedford)
  3. Usman C. (Centennial)
  4. Daisy D. (Swift Current)
  5. Julianna S.(Swift Current)

Open Division Teams

  1. Nathan G. Mueez R. (Walter Murray)
  2. Carrick P. & Victor W. (Walter Murray)
  3. Rohit K. & Bridget S. (Centennial/Walter Murray)
  4. Josh S. Jasnoor G. (Luther)
  5. Kaia B. Hamza S. (Walter Murray/Bedford)

Open Division Speakers

  1. Mueez R. (Walter Murray)
  2. Victor W & Nathan G. (Walter Murray)
  3. Carrick P. & Bridget S. (Walter Murray)
  4. Josh S. (Luther)
  5. Rohit K. (Centennial)

Top Grade Nine Awards

Every Provincials, SEDA also recognizes the Top Grade Nine team and Speaker in the Open Division. This year the Top Grade Nine team was R.A. and Dishita E. from Walter Murray, and the top grade nine speaker was R.A. from Walter Murray. Congratulations!


The E.C. Leslie Championships are not only a celebration of excellence in debate, but also of the efforts of our incredible community that supports learning through debate.

2020 SHED Spirit of Debate Award

The SHED Spirit of Debate Awards recognize debaters of outstanding character who are role models and leaders in their club and with in the debate community. They demonstrate excellence in all they do, enthusiasm for debate, inclusiveness, initiative, sportsmanship and integrity. Recipients are selected by the debaters and coaches within each club and will be recognized by the SEDA Board. From the overall list of nominees, the SEDA Board then names a top elementary and high school recipient. We ask the Coach to submit their nomination with a paragraph to explain their choice and the contributions made by their nominee.

Elementary SHED Spirit of Debate Award Nominees

Regina Huda School – Abdul-Waasay Hashmi

The Regina Huda School would like to award Abdul-Waasay Hashmi for the Spirit of Debate award. He was extremely committed to debate attending both the experienced and beginner debate practices each week when this was not required of him. He is always focused on learning and willing to do his best work. He shows integrity within the club and his skills have improved greatly this year. Great work this year!

Saltcoats School – Carson Waloschuk

In his second year with the club, Carson has shown a genuine commitment to debate, going above and beyond our regular practices and work times to practice and develop his arguments "extra"-extracurricularly. In addition, he is always patient and supportive with the younger and less experienced members of our club. As hard as he works to win every debate, it is equally important to him to show respect, collegiality and kindness to his opponents, judges and other debaters and coaches. Carson exemplifies the spirit of the values that SEDA tries to instil in its participants.

Saskatoon Home Educated Debaters - Peyton Manz

We are pleased to nominate Peyton Manz for the SHED Spirit of Debate Award. We value her willingness to do hard things and she usually inspires her teammates to try along with her. She comes to club with a good attitude and works very hard to bring her best work to debate topics as well.

Sylvia Fedoruk School – Ayesha Anjum (Top Elementary Recipient)

Sylvia Fedoruk Debate Club is pleased to nominate Ayesha Anjum for the Spirit of Debate Award. Ayesha has been a reliable, hard-working, inquisitive member of our club since we started three years ago. Ayesha leads by example by putting excellent effort into her preparation. From asking good questions and seeking feedback, to dedicating time to research and planning arguments, it's no surprise that she has had a very successful season. Ayesha is trusted "go-to" member of our club who willingly shares ideas with the others and helps them develop their skills as well. She is respectful, responsible, and committed, and we are very much going to miss her leadership when she goes to high school next year. Congratulations, Ayesha!

2020 High School SHED Spirit of Debate Award

Carlton Comprehensive High School – Sanjana Brijlall

The Carlton Debate Club’s nominee for the Spirit of Debate award is Sanjana Brijlall. Sanjana has been an excellent debater who has strived to improve the quality of her own debate skills as well as the skills of every other member of Carlton’s club. Sanjana has debated with multiple partners throughout this season, including partners from multiple debate clubs. Throughout all of these challenges, Sanjana has been a fierce competitor, always striving for excellence. The Carlton Debate Club would be poorer without all of Sanjana’s excellent efforts.

École Canadienne-Française - Pavillon Gustave-Dubois – Janie Moyen

Janie Moyen is the heart and soul of the École Canadienne-Française - Pavillon Gustave-Dubois Debate. While interest and commitment is hard to get from students, Janie maintains a positive attitude and continues to encourage students to consider debate. She took leadership in having French demo debates at a SEDA tournament this year and was gracious, respectful and encouraging regardless of who she is debating with or against. Janie has volunteered her time to judge at SEDA debates, helped translate SEDA resources to French and is always available and ready to assist when she can. Janie’s character and leadership are also demonstrated as she was chosen by her peers for the Spirit of Bilingualism Award at National Seminar in addition to winning the Top French Debater and Top Saskatchewan Debater Award.We would like to recognize the heart and excellence Janie brings to all she does!

North Battleford Comprehensive High School – Zaiden Osicki

Zaiden has been a member of the NBCHS debate club for four years. Over the years Zaiden has become our definition guy! He is the person we turn to when we start with our resolutions and need to ensure we have effective and well-thought-out definitions. This year Zaiden has participated in the British Parliamentary tournaments and then at Nationals. He brought his learning to our club from the experience and shown strong leadership as we practise for the tournaments. It is our pleasure to nominate Zaiden Osicki for this Award. He is a valued member of the NBCHS Debate Club.

Regina Huda School – Ahmed Salad and Saad Safiq

The Regina Huda School is pleased to award the team of Ahmed Salad and Saad Safiq with the Spirit of Debate Award this year. Having never debated before and joining the club this year in their grade 12 year they offered much needed maturity and leadership to the club. They were both eagerly willing to learn and develop their skills and what was appreciated was their humble attitudes. Both of them were so patient with the younger debaters and provided wisdom and experience. Their coaches were extremely impressed with their ability to notice both sides of an issue and ask questions to gain more understanding. They will be greatly missed on our club next year.

Swift Current Comprehensive High School – Daisy Dyck

Swift Current Comprehensive High School is pleased to nominate Daisy Dyck as the recipient of the SHED Spirit of Debate Awards. Daisy is a leader in our Debate Club who exemplifies the necessary characteristics to be a role model in the debate community. She is a leader who consistently encourages others to debate with integrity and excellence. Daisy embraces challenging research topics with enthusiasm, aiming to learn the material in depth. She receives feedback with grace and humility. She is welcoming, approachable and kind. Daisy is a valuable teammate who epitomizes the "Spirit of Debate".

Bedford Road Collegiate – Hamza Saghir (Top High School Recipient)

Our school had been without a debate team for a number of years now, as we chose to focus instead on Model UN and Philosophy Club. That is until Hamza arrived. Through his passion, initiative, and exceptional leadership, debate has been resuscitated and re-invigorated here at Bedford! I was approached by Hamza very early in the year with a clear and well-organized proposition: to re-launch the debate team with Hamza as the primary organizer, coach and facilitator, and to host weekly meetings in my classroom every Tuesday at lunch. During that initial meeting, I made it very clear to Hamza that while my passions and priorities lay elsewhere, I would certainly be willing to sign off as the teacher supervisor because I knew beyond a reasonable doubt that I could trust Hamza to follow through on every one of his ambitious intentions. Follow through and exceed he has!

Hamza’s debate team now features students from grades 9-11, some with previous experience and some with absolutely none. To his credit and through his leadership, all of our debaters are engaged and finding success in debate this season. Not only that, but they are growing in confidence, building lasting relationships, and becoming increasingly capable thinkers and rhetoricians. This learning has growth – I cannot stress this enough – has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Hamza’s brilliant teaching and guidance. He has led all the meetings, organized all the registrations, even going so far as to organize debate trips outside of Saskatoon. And he has done so with such charm, patience, and insight, all while continuing to succeed in debate, playing a major part in our Student Representative Council, and pushing himself academically in our division’s most rigorous academic program (IB DP). (T)his debate team knows and loves their leader, justifiably so.

As a result of all this, debate is once again thriving here at Bedford. The momentum moving forward is palpable, and the desire to learn contagious. Hamza Saghir deserves full credit for initiating and spreading this desire, (re-)building this foundation of positive debate energy, and will no doubt build upon it moving forward. For this he certainly deserves recognition, and I sincerely hope this year’s board feels impelled to do so.

2020 Youth Volunteer Award - Mueez Rafiquie

It is an honour to recommend Mueez Rafiquie for SEDA’s Youth Volunteer Award. Mueez has been involved in debate since grade 6, and has only become more invested and more active in our community as time has passed.

Since grade 9, Mueez has been part of our WMCI club, participating in meetings and events and always volunteering for any events that he could. In the past two years he has stepped up significantly to provide mentorship and guidance to younger club members, and to give his time to the Saskatoon debate community as a whole. He has consistently taken on a leadership role during meetings, sharing his experience and knowledge of debate, speaking, and argument with younger members. He has been a constant ambassador for our club, and for debate in general, at all open house events and school activities, putting aside other responsibilities on several occasions to support our program.

Though he has not gotten to debate in as many tournaments this year, Mueez has still committed to the community by giving his time as a judge at most tournaments in which he could not otherwise participate. Most recently, Mueez is establishing a new debate club at Misbah School in Saskatoon. His commitment to both our school and our debate communities has been consistent throughout his school career.

We cannot think of a more deserving candidate for the Youth Volunteer Award.

Honoured Volunteer Adjudicator Award - Nikki Hipkin and Don Greer

SEDA is introducing this award to honour the dedicated volunteers who are regular judges at our events. This year SEDA would like to honoured Nikki Hipkin and Don Greer as outstanding volunteer judges. Both Nikki and Don are prominent community members who have chosen to give their time, energies and talent to regularly judge debate at SEDA tournament on top of being very busy and active community members and volunteers in Saskatoon. They have each consistently volunteered at multiple debate tournaments each year over many, many years despite not having a child or relative participating. They are reliable and enthusiastic volunteers that SEDA can count on to be role models for other judges. Thank you, Nikki Hipkin and Don Greer for your contribution to debate!

2020 Meritorious Volunteer Award - Janessa Weir

Janessa Weir, teacher and debate coach at Elsie Mironuck Community School was a SEDA debater herself in her high school days. SEDA sincerely appreciates the long-term commitment to debate and to young people that Janessa has brought through the years to our debate community. Janessa teaches, coaches, challenges and cheers on her students and debaters with a lot of heart and energy. She goes the extra mile and more to assist in whatever way she can. Janessa has also served many years as a SEDA Board member and was SEDA President for a season. SEDA is grateful to Janessa for all that she has given and done through all these years

2020 Willis McLeese Outstanding Volunteer Award - Jenn Peak

Jennifer Peak is a long-time debate coach for SHED (Saskatoon Home Educated Debaters), debate parent, teacher and SEDA volunteer. Jennifer is a lifelong learner and sharp thinker and has helped coach and train SK students competing at National Tournaments. She has made herself available to help anyone interested in debate and to assist the SEDA office and Executive Director when asked. Through the years Jenn has assisted in all aspects of hosting and running a SEDA Tournament, Provincials and National Tournaments that SEDA has hosted. Most notably, Jenn has put Saskatoon on the map for the exemplary hospitality and culinary abilities she has shared at debate events we have hosted where she has cooked and baked amazing excellent food. SEDA is grateful for the above and beyond Jenn brings to all she does.

Upcoming Events

SEDA Summer Debate Camp

SEDA hosts an annual one-week debate camp for youth of any experience level in grades 5 to 12! Camp will be in August with information on registration coming to you in May. SEDA wants to hold debate camps in BOTH Saskatoon and Regina if we have enough interest! A feedback survey will be sent to students and parents shortly where you can express your interest in camp. It is a great opportunity for those new to debate to become familiar with it, as well as an opportunity for regular debaters to keep their skills sharp!

2020 Senior National Debate Championships - Cancelled

The 2020 Senior National Debate Championships were to be hosted by the Manitoba Speech and Debate Association in Winnipeg in April. Unfortunately, school boards in manitoba have decided schools are not allowed to host out of province events due to the Covid-19 outbreak. With nowhere to hold the event, Senior Nationals has been cancelled.

2020 Junior National Debating Championships

2020 Junior National Debating Championships will be hosted by the Nova Scotia Debating Society from May 22nd to May 24th. Details to come.

2020 Tryout for the 2020-21 National Team - Cancelled

The Tryouts were scheduled to take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba in April just before the Senior National Debating Championship. Unfortunately, school boards in Manitoba have decided schools are not allowed to host out of province events due to the Covid-19 outbreak. With nowhere to hold the event, National Team Try outs have been cancelled. Alternative methods of choosing the 2020-21 National team are being discussed. SEDA will provide information on this when a decision is made.

2020 Canadian National Student Debating Federation National Seminar

The Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association (SEDA) is honoured to host the 2020 National Debating Seminar in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on September 23 to 28, 2020 with the 23rd and 28th as the travel days. The National Seminar is a cultural and education event that will bring together 70 high school (Grade 9-12) students from across Canada that combines citizenship education, debate and cultural experiences. The theme will be Reconciliation: Making the Calls to Action a Reality.

Our goal is to facilitate a meaningful learning experience for all participants that fosters mutual respect, empathy and engagement. All programming will aim to provide plenty of space for group discussions and interactions as well as opportunities to present on what is learned. Our theme will explore the Principles of Reconciliation, the Calls to Action, UNDRIP (The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), the challenges of decolonizing institutions, the ethics of representation and then meaningful responses to the Calls to Action.

We want to focus on a ‘I used to think, now I think’ premise to encourage participants to go past assumptions, observations, and truly wrestle and engage – this is the work and idea at the heart of debate. Delegates will be invited in April.

As we celebrate our 45th Anniversary, we invite you to join our ‘Words Are Powerful’ Campaign and donate to support SEDA and its work with Saskatchewan's young people. Your donation will enable us to expand our programs and keep them affordable and accessible.


Thank You

Big picture