Debaters take second place at Heart of Europe

  • Job well done: Team Independent Bermuda, from left, Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy, and Genevieve Lau and Hailey O’Donnell, of Bermuda High School, placed second overall at the Heart of Europe debate competition, which was held in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Ms O’Donnell won best overall speaker and Ms Tobin placed fourth against debaters from more than 50 countries (Photograph supplied)

    Job well done: Team Independent Bermuda, from left, Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy, and Genevieve Lau and Hailey O’Donnell, of Bermuda High School, placed second overall at the Heart of Europe debate competition, which was held in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Ms O’Donnell won best overall speaker and Ms Tobin placed fourth against debaters from more than 50 countries (Photograph supplied)

  • Team and country spirit: Team Independent Bermuda, from left, Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy, Genevieve Lau and Hailey O’Donnell, both of Bermuda High School, placed second overall at the Heart of Europe debate competition which were held at Heart of Europe debating competition in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Hailey won best overall speaker against debaters from more than 50 countries from around the world (Photograph supplied)

    Team and country spirit: Team Independent Bermuda, from left, Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy, Genevieve Lau and Hailey O’Donnell, both of Bermuda High School, placed second overall at the Heart of Europe debate competition which were held at Heart of Europe debating competition in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Hailey won best overall speaker against debaters from more than 50 countries from around the world (Photograph supplied)

  • Witnesses to history: also at the Heart of Europe debate competition in Olomouc, Czech Republic, was the Dynamic Debaters team coaches, Heart of Europe veterans, Kimberley Jackson and Gladstone Thompson. the Dynamic Debaters team is comprised of Raina DeFontes, Christopher Jackson, both enrolled at The Berkeley Institute and Bermuda College, and Salayah Stange from Bermuda High School (Photograph supplied)

    Witnesses to history: also at the Heart of Europe debate competition in Olomouc, Czech Republic, was the Dynamic Debaters team coaches, Heart of Europe veterans, Kimberley Jackson and Gladstone Thompson. the Dynamic Debaters team is comprised of Raina DeFontes, Christopher Jackson, both enrolled at The Berkeley Institute and Bermuda College, and Salayah Stange from Bermuda High School (Photograph supplied)


An all-girl debating team has notched up Bermuda’s best performance at an international competition yesterday.

The Independent Bermuda team was pipped at the post in the finals by South Korea at the Heart of Europe debating competition in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

The team won several individual awards, including best overall speaker for Hailey O’Donnell, of Bermuda High School.

Schoolmate Genevieve Lau got the third best speaker award and Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy, took the fourth spot.

Kate’s mother, Krystalle Tobin, who is the primary coach for the island team, said: “We are incredibly happy for the team to have made it into the finals and commend the girls for their hard work which resulted in this fantastic result.

“We are also grateful for the outpouring of support that we received from home.”

The trio advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition on Monday when they beat host nation the Czech Republic’s CDS Red team.

The girls then conquered the Bulgarian team in the semi-finals after a 3-2 split decision by the judges.

Independent Bermuda lost out to South Korea yesterday morning in the final on the motion that “This house would ban the use of a space programme for any military or covert purposes”.

The Independent Bermuda debate team was also assisted by Coy Kijaun Millet, a national debate team coach.

Mr Millet said: “The team have worked hard and represented Bermuda well.

“This is the highest international achievement Bermuda debate has seen to date, so we are very proud of the girls and celebrate their accomplishments, both as a team and individually as top speakers.”

Also competing in the competition were team Dynamic Debaters, including Raina DeFontes, 15, and Christopher Jackson, 16, both enrolled at the Berkeley Institute and Bermuda College, with 15-year-old Salayah Stange from Bermuda High School.

The Dynamic Debaters team’s coaches are Kimberley Jackson and Gladstone Thompson.

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Published Jul 17, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 17, 2019 at 8:06 am)

Debaters take second place at Heart of Europe

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