Alumni and Volunteers

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.

Are you a former Debater?

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Being part of the SEDA Alumni means you are supporting the debate community in Saskatchewan. The simplest way to support the community is to fill out the survey below. Just by answering some questions for us, SEDA can gather important demographics that we use when requesting grants, building partnerships, advocating for debate, and inspiring youth! If you know someone who is a past debater, please send them this newsletter and encourage them to support us. If you have benefited from SEDA please consider giving back in some way so others can enjoy similar opportunities!

Volunteer Opportunities

SEDA programming would simply not exist without the help of our amazing volunteers. SEDA is always looking for more dedicated people to help at our events and in our general operations. We always encourage parents of debaters to volunteer in some way, and the first step is contacting the debate coach at the school your child attends. However you do not have to be a parent to get involved! If you are interested in any of the following opportunities please email info@saskdebate.com with the subject "volunteering" and tell us about yourself!

Event Volunteers

Tournament Moderator

A moderator is the person who introduces the round of debate, records speaking times of each debater for the judges, run ballots and important papers for the hosting staff, and in some debate styles, they even control the give and take of questions.


Your role as a judge in our tournaments is incredibly important to ensure we have a quality tournament. Our most common concern from volunteers is that they are not qualified to judge. No need to fear. At tournaments, all volunteers receive onsite training to teach you the keys of debate. All you need to be able to judge is some basic critical thinking skills, and an eagerness to learn.

Tabbing Team

Inputing, recording, and organizing debators scores is essential to a smooth running tournament. If you are good with computers, catch on quick, and love a full spreadsheet, the tabbing team is for you! (Experience with tabbing, bracketing, or the software Tabbycat is helpful but not a requirement).

Operations Volunteers

Workshop Facilitators

SEDA runs workshops for school who are interested in starting a debate club as well as workshops throughout our regular season to enhance debators' skills. If you are an experienced debater or coach willing to assist in the facilitation of workshops, SEDA would love to discuss opportunities with you!

Board Members

SEDA's Volunteer Board of Directors is made up of teachers, parents, alumni, lawyers, and students who are elected at the Annual General Meeting. If you would like to have an active role in SEDA operations, please come to the the Annual General Meeting on October 5th and consider sitting on the board. More details about the AGM will appear on our social media and website.

Skilled Volunteers

Are you in advertising or graphic design? are you an event planner? do you have experience in grant writing or fundraising? If you have a skill you would be willing to share, SEDA would love to work with you. We rely on volunteers to contribute to our work groups that handle tasks such as creating resolutions, outreach and networking, fundraising, event planning, and social media.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities please email info@saskdebate.com with the subject "volunteering" and tell us about yourself!

Coaches Intensive Workshop with Jason Xiao

The current coach of the Canadian World's Debate Team, Jason Xiao, is offering a workshop on August 17th at the University of Saskatchewan for ANY debate coaches in the province looking to learn more about coaching. Sessions will focus on teaching complex skills and managing competitive teams along with a variety of other subjects. Learn more HERE!

Jason Xiao began debating in elementary school in Saskatoon. He competed as a member of Team Canada in 2014 travelling to places including Germany, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. At the 2015 World Schools Debating Championship, he placed 5th as an individual and reached the finals with Team Canada. Jason was a member of the UBC Debate Society and is a current member of the Oxford Union Debating Society. He was a semi-finalist at the World Universities Debating Championships 2018. Jason is currently studying law at Oxford.

“My favorite thing about debate is the amount of learning you can have through debate. When done well and at high levels, debate is a condensed form of academia that rewards people for stepping out of their comfort zones and actually engaging with alternative viewpoints. There is nothing better for creating a critical and sharp mind.”

-Jason Xiao

There is no fee but you must register by August 12th.

Don't forget about camp!

Saskatoon's annual debate camp is open to all students in grades 5-12 who are wanting to learn all about speech and debate in a friendly and engaging learning environment. To learn more, visit our website. Registration is open from May 6th until August 2nd. The standard price for camp is $200 per student.

If you reside outside of Saskatoon, please apply and SEDA will try to arrange billets for you in the city.

If you are willing to be a billet for an out-of-town camper, please email info@saskdebate.com with 'Billet' in the subject line.


Spotlight is your opportunity to meet debators and volunteers. This week, Voice is featuring Muhammad Usman Ahmed interviewed by Mahrukh Hassan.

Muhammad Usman Ahmed has been a debater since grade nine and has come a long way. He has accomplished many things in his career including winning many tournaments, competing in the provincial finals, debating at the Senior National Debate Championships and placing thirty-fifth speaker. And it all started when his teachers told him he was aggressive. He then discovered debate, which he thought was all about aggression, and he was soon hooked.
When asked about his strengths he said that his ability to speak and improvise has helped him be the great debater he is now. He looks up to Thomas Mulcair and Wendy James from SEDA. He prefers oppositions over propositions, because it gives you more time to think about the resolution and both debaters get to clash. It also better for when you don’t understand the resolution at all, as you can listen to the other side and quickly learn what it's all about. He also mentioned that he likes it because it's his stronger side when compared to proposition.

The message he wants to give to young and upcoming debaters is that “Debaters are nice people, debate coaches are nice. It really doesn't matter if you win or lose. The skills you learn will stay with you for the rest of your life. If you're a young debater and you're nervous about debate. know it's hard. but it's a fun thing to do. This is a safe place to say what you think.”

In the near future, he will be doing a Computer Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan and will be working with SEDA this summer.

-Mahrukh Hassan, Intermediate Debater

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

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