Team Canada Newsletter

Debate is life - everything else is prep time

Canada has many Top Speakers in Zagreb

Canada had another successful year at the World's Schools Debate Championships, which were held in Zagreb, Croatia from July 17th to 27th, 2018. Team Canada's members were Adythia Chakravarthy (ON), Anwyn Diakuw (SK), Ashley Phord-Toy (BC), Naomi Panovka (ON), and Andrew Yun (BC). The alternates were Saara Meghji (BC) and Angelina Zhang (BC).


Canada broke into the out rounds at Zagreb and lost to Singapore, but not without 4 of the 5 debaters finishing in the top 20 speakers. Andrew was 5th, Naomi was 7th, Adythia was 9th and Anwyn was 15th. See the full results on the WSDC official site. The team was coached by Liz Stratton and Wendy James.


Debate continues to be the singular activity for teaching young people to engage deeply in democratic discourse, and informed free speech. The grand final motion for the championship was “This House believes that the West should end all arms sales and military cooperation with Saudi Arabia.” The debate on that motion has continued throughout the year intentionally and was just the subject of the Senate's break from American President Donald Trump.

About the World's Schools Debating Championships

The World's Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) is the premier debating competition in the world for high school students. The competition brings national teams from around the world for about 10 days to debate about various topics, within parliamentary debating techniques to earn the title of world champions. The 30th World Schools Debating Championships was held in Zagreb, Croatia. There were so many firsts. It was the largest competition yet, included the introduction of bracketing, and was the first competition with two teams that spoke English as an additional language in the final. There are four key goals of the WSCD, which are even more essential given current global trends:


  1. To achieve excellence in debating
  2. To encourage debating throughout
  3. the world
  4. To promote international understanding
  5. To promote free speech

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