Debaters make their mark in virtual competition
Bermudian debaters picked up awards at an international tournament held on a virtual basis because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
McKenzie Kohl-Tuckett from Warwick Academy won the Balmoral Hall Trophy for the top overseas speaker and her school team, which also included Noah DeSilva and Eva O’Connor, got the St John’s Ravenscourt Shield for top overseas school in the International Independent School Public Speaking Competition.
McKenzie was 8th in the competition overall, Hailey O’Donnell of Bermuda High School came 22nd and Noah was 25th out of a field of 130 schoolchildren.
The competition was scheduled to be held at Mulgrave School in Vancouver, Canada, but the pandemic forced a change of plan.
Bermuda High School fielded Hailey, Linnea Kuruvilla and Christina De Kock.
The competition, which included 34 other teams from Canada, the UK, the US, South Korea and Hong Kong, had its finals last Sunday.
Hailey and Linnea, with Noah, also competed in the after dinner speaking finals and Hailey notched up third place.
McKenzie also took the bronze position in the dramatic interpretation and persuasive speaking finals.
Jennifer Burland Adams, a member of the board of the International Independent Schools Public Speaking League and BHS coach, said: “Bermuda should be very proud of the students who competed this year with all the modifications due to Covid-19 restrictions, in addition to the normal stresses of academics and other activities.
“With some preliminary rounds pre-recorded and others live through Zoom, students had to be prepared earlier than usual and adapt to performing for a camera or computer screen.”