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Anisah Mahomed was the top female student debater at the 2012 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships.
April 10, 2012
Canadian Debaters Are On Top of the World
At the 2012 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in Brisbane, Australia, Branksome’s Anisah Mahomed became the top female student debater in the world.

Competing at “the Worlds” was a “remarkable experience,” says the Grade 11 student, who placed second overall. “You are surrounded by the highest-calibre debaters and public speakers from around the world,” adds Anisah. “Having the opportunity to meet, learn and grow with other youth from as far away as Lithuania, Cyprus and Australia is truly a unique experience.”

Another Canadian student — Ryan Pistorius, of St. John’s Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Manitoba — took the top spot overall last week. The prestigious competition, held at Moreton Bay Boys’ College over five days, featured 110 competitors from 11 countries.

Participants had to go through intense qualifying rounds in their own countries before being chosen to participate at the Worlds.

“The level of debating and public speaking skills was extremely high,” says Anisah’s coach, Branksome faculty member Tracy Dalglish, who received countless compliments about Anisah’s debating prowess from many of the other coaches.

“Anisah is one of the most gifted high school debaters and pubic speakers in the world. She is well rounded and made the finals in all four categories of Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Persuasive Speaking and Interpretive Reading,” says Ms Dalglish. “She is very intelligent, confident and obviously thinks very effectively on her feet.”

In addition to placing second overall, Anisah claimed second in Persuasive Speaking. Her stellar results were “simply an added bonus to what was already a memorable experience,” says Anisah. “Having the support of Ms Dalglish and the Branksome community back home made this tournament all the better.”

Debating has provided the young champion with many life lessons. “Debating has taught me that there are always two sides to a story…. It has shown me the importance of being open-minded and tolerant of other ideas,” says Anisah. “However, the most valuable lesson debating and public speaking has taught me is the necessity of advocating for what you feel passionately about.”

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