Debate Update

By Ms. Tracey Lee, Debate and Model UN Coach 

The Canadian BP Nationals was hosted by Alberta this past weekend and welcomed over 200 debaters from eight provinces. After six rounds of preliminary debates and playoff rounds (semifinals and finals), I'm really proud of our three WPGA teams, which advanced to the Grand Finals. In the junior division, after finishing 2nd overall in preliminary rounds, Chelsea Hu '23 and Arman Kassam '23 finished 3rd overall, with Arman placing 5th speaker and Chelsea 2nd speaker overall. They will be one of four Canadian teams advancing to the International Competition for Young Debaters hosted annually by Cambridge University next April. In the senior category, our teams of Ethan Jasny '21/Annushka Agarwal '22 and Edison Tan '21/Vincent Gao '22 ranked 1st and 2nd after preliminary rounds, with Ethan and Annushka winning the Grand Finals (picture of Steven Penner Shield award featured here). Annushka was the Top Speaker of the tournament; Ethan and Vincent placed in the top 10 speakers overall. Both teams will represent Canada at the Oxford Finals Day, scheduled for March 2021. 

We had three teams compete at the European Debating Championships, hosted in Stuttgart, Germany. Our junior team ended up winning the Novice Division, with the following students taking the top three speakers: Ankita Biswas '23 1st, Edward Gao '24 2nd, Yufei Huang '23 3rd. Our two senior teams advanced to playoff rounds after preliminary debates, bowing out after the octofinals. Vincent Gao led his Team Canada teammates to eventual victory in the Grand Finals.

WPGA also participated in three university-hosted high school tournaments this month: the McGill Debates, UBC High School Tournament, and University of Western Ontario Debates. Congratulations to senior debaters Annushka Agarwal and Edison Tan, who won UBCs, and to Chelsea Hu and Eric Li '23, who came 2nd in the junior category.