Young Achievers Dynamic Debaters shine in Europe
From cryptocurrency to feminism, no matter the subject, Bermuda’s Dynamic Debaters can talk a good game.
This year, the talented young teenagers returned from their trip to Europe with an island-best performance under their belt.
They reached the last 16 of both the Heart of Europe Debating Tournament in the Czech Republic and the World Schools Debate Championship in Croatia, farther than any team from Bermuda has managed before.
Two members from the Bermuda delegation won individual speaking awards at the Heart of Europe competition, out of 200 overall participants. Halle Teart and Tyrese Coakley, both 18, placed eighth and 15th respectively in the contest last month.
Proud team coach Gladstone Thompson, the head of the Bermuda Debate Society, reflected on their performance tackling topics such as cryptocurrency, the feminist movement, tax policy, and journalism.
He said: “Our kids stand toe to toe with any debater in the world. The standard of debate in Bermuda is recognised around the world as being a standard of quality.”
Team member Robert Thomas, 16, a Berkeley Institute student and aspiring lawyer, said: “Mr Thompson always tells his teams that it’s not about winning, it’s about growth and development.
“Debate makes you a better citizen, it provides you with the knowledge about world issues that you need to be abreast on.
“It also helps you with your social skills and being able to communicate with others, as well as providing a lot of networking and scholarship opportunities.”
Sierra Brangman, 17, an aspiring corporate litigator who will soon be attending United World College in Hong Kong, said: “The Heart of Europe definitely helped us to improve as a team.
“It also provided an opportunity to spend time together helping us to connect so that, when we debate, it may be three people but one unified message.”
Halle, who will be attending Johns Hopkins University to pursue a dual degree in anthropology and social policy, said the competition gave her a greater understanding of team dynamics.
Mr Thompson added: “People need to know how to communicate effectively regardless of their field, and debating teaches you how to communicate at the highest level.”
The Bermuda delegation paid thanks to the Bermuda Debate Society which has played a key role developing debate on the island and sponsored its travels.