Looking to the Future

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.

Checking In

We hope you and your families are all doing well during these difficult times, and that your finding ways to keep your minds and bodies active! if you are looking for some speech and debate resources to use at home, please check out our previous newsletter. We want you all to know that SEDA is still working hard to provide its regular services. We are saddened to not be helping eager students travel to national events, but we are keeping busy with follow-up reports to funders, preparing resources for next season, and researching virtual options to bring more speech and debate opportunities to you!

The POWER of the PAUSE


As a debate coach – I would often tell my students as they practiced their debate speeches to pause. Use the pause. There is power in the pause.

Our club had students from Grade 5 through Grade 12 and often they would read through their prepared debate speeches in as fast a manner as they could. They were nervous and wanted to just get it over with or that pace of speaking was the only speed they had to read or to talk!

So, the lesson became the importance of the pause and how to use the pause and plan the pauses in one’s speech. For the speaker – you give yourself a chance to take a breath, get the attention of the audience and then emphasize the point you just said or what you are about to say. For the audience or the judge at the debate round, they too, get a breather, a time to write and a moment to consider what you are saying.

There is an analogy here as we consider this season of social distancing and learning or working from home. It may be a time to just take a breath or a time to consider what really matters and or another way to do the things that matter or just a time to count our blessings!

Regardless of what it may be for you - this may just be a providential gift of a pause.

Use the pause.

Plan the pause.

There is power in the pause.

Melissa Ong

SEDA Executive Director

April 13, 2020

We want to hear from you!

SEDA values your feedback! We are always looking to improve the experience of our members, so we have created feedback surveys for students, parents, judges, and coaches. Feedback survey links were emailed out on Monday March 23rd. FInd the link in your email and give us your thoughts! We appreciate the time you take to help us assess and improve the work we do. If you are a student, parent, judge, and/or coach, but did not receive a survey link in your email, contact info@saskdebate.com

Online Learning

Like most organizations now, SEDA is working on an online learning plan! We would love to bring our members video lessons and virtual classes and seminars. We will keep you updated on online debate options through our website and social media.

The CSDF, the CNDC, and National Events

The governing body for Debate in Canada is the the CSDF (Canadian Student Debating Federation) who oversees the National Seminar and Team Canada. The CNDC (Canadian National Debate Championships) oversees the Junior and Senior National Debate Championships and the National BP Championships. They work with provincial debate organizations to plan these national events. Most national events are now POSTPONED, as organizers work hard to determine if events can be hosted at a later date, or if they can be hosted in an online format. As we receive more information from the CSDF we will keep you updated on our website and on social media. You can also check our the CSDF website HERE.

Senior Canadian National Debating Championships - Postponed

  • Senior Nationals was scheduled to be held in late April in Manitoba, but have been postponed to do Covid-19 social distancing measures. Saskatchewan students qualify for Senior Nationals as their team scores are ranked based on 40% of their provincial score and 60% of best scores from two tournaments from the season. We would like to congratulate those who qualified to attend the championship. We will keep our members informed of an opportunity to compete at this event at a later date or through an online format. The initial invitation was for 6 teams per province. If the tournament happens online there is a possibility the number of teams accepted from each province may change.
    1. Carrick P. & Victor W. (Walter Murray)
    2. Nathan G. & Mueez R. (Walter Murray)
    3. Josh S. & Jasnoor G. (Luther)
    4. Kaia B. & Hamza S. (Walter Murray/Bedford)
    5. Rohit K. & Bridget S. (Centennial/Walter Murray)
    6. Dawson P. & Aditya K. (Bedford)
    7. First Alternate - Rohan N. & Will. S. (Centennial)
    8. Second Alternate - Jasmine W. & William L. (Luther)
    9. Third Alternate - Fatima A. & Sanjana B. (Regina Huda/Carlton)
    10. Fourth Alternate - Aroba K. & Arfa. A (Regina Huda)

    Junior Canadian National Debating Championships - Postponed

    Junior Nationals was scheduled to be held in late May in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Students qualify for Junior Nationals by combining 40% of their provincial score and 60% of best team scores from any two tournaments in the season. We would like to congratulate those who qualified to attend. We will keep our members informed of an opportunity to compete at this event at a later date or through an online format. If the tournament happens online there is a possibility the number of teams accepted from each province may change.
    1. Dishita E. & Rafay A. (Walter Murray) (Grade 9)
    2. Muhammad M. & Elliot C. (SHED) (Grade 9)
    3. Fatima E. & Ali E. (Regina Huda) (Grade 9)
    4. Lucas Tarry & Sahasro B. (Dr. John G. Egnatoff)
    5. Isabelle M. & Mahrukh H. (Caswell)
    6. Laraib M. & Aiman I. (Regina Huda)
    7. First Alternate - Emma K. & Mika S. (Saltcoats)
    8. Second Alternate - Sara S. & Liam B. (Saltcoats)
    9. Third Alternate - Ayesha A. & Bilal A. (Sylvia Fedoruk)
    10. Fourth Alternate - Samuel W. & Lucas L. (Greystone)

    Worlds School Debating Championships Qualifier and National Team Tryouts - Postponed

    SEDA had planned on holding a Worlds School Debating Championships Qualifier open to those debaters in Grade 8 to 11 interested in competing in Worlds Style Debate. Three Saskatchewan students are chosen from this qualifier to attend the National Team Tryout held in Winnipeg this year in late April. Both the qualifier and the tryout have been postponed. When new dates are chosen we will inform those who had already registered for our qualifier and our general membership.
    The National Team Tryouts determine the members of the Canadian Team (Team Canada) that attends World Schools Debating Championship. Since 1990, nine Saskatchewan students have been on Team Canada including Jason Xiao in 2015 and Anwyn Diakuw in 2018. We have also had two SEDA alumni coach Team Canada, Wendy James and Jason Xiao. Jason is once again the coach of the 2020 Team Canada.

    2020 Canadian National Student Debating Federation National Seminar

    We will not know the status of National Seminar until May. We are hopeful SEDA will be able to host this event on Schedule.

    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. 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.

    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.

    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 has been sent to students and parents 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!

    Though SEDA is hopeful camp will remain on schedule and in its usual form, we are preparing contingency plans if Covid-19 restrictions prevent us from gathering in person in August. As we develop a plan, we will let our members know.

    We will keep you updated on national events and summer camp at the SEDA Website and our through our Social Media.

    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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