The sixth Conyers’ Inter-Schools Debate Tournament took place on Thursday, 1 March at St. Ignatius Catholic School. All local schools were invited to take part, with over 50 students from both private and public schools participating, the largest turnout since inception.
Seven schools from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac were against one another, debating on a range of impromptu issues, many with a sports theme, ranging from whether the Olympics should be disbanded, should performance enhancing drugs be allowed in sports and is winning everything. Once the resolution had been announced the students then only had 15 minutes to plan their arguments without the aid of any Internet device or outside coaching. The final debate saw the top two teams go head to head to argue whether students on school sports teams should have a minimum GPA, for which debaters had to prepare an argument for both sides.
This year’s winners were as follows:
• Mark Plowright, John Gray High School, Best Speaker
• Chadene Brooks, John Gray High School, Runner up Speaker
• Charles Sokohl, Cayman International School, Third Place Speaker
• Richard Weber and Charles Sokohl, Cayman International School, Winning Team
• Chadene Brooks and Mark Plowright, John Gray High School, Runner up Team
• Aidan Walter, Best Speaker
• Ellie Nickason and Lilly Langevin, Cayman International School, Winning Team
Fraser Hughes, a Conyers’ litigation partner, said: “We are pleased this event continues to gain in popularity, as seen from the record participation. The debate offers a platform for students to build on their ability to think and persuade, aiding too in overcoming the fear of public speaking from an early age. Skills such as these are invaluable and apply to all kinds of career and situation”. He continued, “We thank our partners in the business and legal community for helping to support the tournament and we congratulate all of the students that took part”.
The Director of the tournament, Ian Whan Tong, noted that the Conyers Inter-Schools Debate Tournament has become a prominent fixture on the school calendar in just three short years. Students, judges and guests all appreciated the fun of the inter-school debate, and the skills that directly translate to their other work. “This is our 6th consecutive tournament, and the huge growth in the Novice Division shows the interest in competitive debate among younger students – which is nothing short of fantastic”, he said.
Over 40 judges were selected, most of whom are in the business and legal community. The Hon. Madam Justice Carter of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands judged the final debate, with a number of other members of the community involved. The Director of Education Services, Mrs. Lyneth Monteith, and Chief Officer Christian Suckoo of the Ministry of Education, witnessed the debates first-hand and remain impressed with all of the students’ abilities.
“The Inter-Schools Debate provides a platform for students to showcase and develop their skills. We’re proud to continue to offer this to the local community and are grateful for the support from the students and those that are part of the judging process”, commented Sarah Goring of Conyers’ HR team.
Conyers is the founding and sole sponsor of high school debating in the Cayman Islands. The next Conyers Inter-Schools Debate Tournament is scheduled to be held in the fall of this year.