World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships coming to Canada for first time
Branksome Hall is proud to host the 31st World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (Worlds 2019) from April 11-17. This is the first time a Canadian school has hosted this prestigious international event, which will draw more than 150 high school students and their coaches from Canada, Australia, Bermuda, China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Lithuania, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States – all seeking the ultimate prize: the title of world champion.
"Canada is the perfect place for this championship–a coming together of different countries and cultures to discuss important topics facing our world," says Karen L. Jurjevich, Principal. "As a school that has long fostered leaders in debating and public speaking, Branksome Hall's mission is to inspire our students to shape a better world. We are delighted to welcome delegates from all corners of the globe, with the highest calibre of talent and dedication, to Branksome Hall and to Toronto. We truly believe in the power of critical thinking, researched debate and clear communication. That power opens the path to new ideas that can and will change our world," says Ms Jurjevich.
The world's best young orators will compete in four uniquely challenging categories: Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Interpretive Reading, as well as either Persuasive or After-Dinner Speaking.
"I admire the debaters and public speakers who have made it to Worlds," says Karrie Weinstock, Deputy Principal. "Preparing for Worlds requires dedication, intellectual agility and the confidence to receive constant feedback from your coaches. These competitors have learned the skills of research, analysis, critical thinking and writing. They know how to connect with an audience, can think on their feet, and most importantly, they understand the power of language to persuade," says Mrs. Weinstock.
We are also delighted that George Elliott Clarke, former Toronto and Canadian Poet Laureate, will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. The event will close on April 16 with the Grand Finals and an address by our Rachel Phillips Belash speaker, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.
We are so excited to be a part of this amazing experience and we can’t wait to see what this week has in store for the enthusiastic delegates and their coaches.