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Crowe debaters shine in Kelowna

Four J. Lloyd Crowe debaters traveled to the Okanagan last weekend and returned holding many of the top titles.
First place debaters Emily Dawson (left) and Jesse Bartsoff read over their material getting ready for the next debate scheduled for Trail in the new year.

Four J. Lloyd Crowe debaters traveled to the Okanagan last weekend and returned holding many of the top titles.

The Goodbye Fall Debate Tournament hosted by Kelowna Secondary brought four schools to the Okanagan for Saturday’s event.

The two attending Crowe teams entered at a junior level (grades nine and 10). However, two debaters that participated and formed a team are Grade 8 students.

The Grade 10 duo of Emily Dawson and Jesse Bartsoff placed first overall in their category.

“It wasn’t easy, the topics were hard,” the teammates agreed.

Dawson placed first based on her individual performance while Bartsoff was third individually.

“The hardest part is when you get a topic you have to persuade yourself before you can persuade others,” added Dawson.

Bartsoff was thrilled with his result.

“I wasn’t expecting third, but I was very excited.”

Both Grade 10s said their marks have improved since they started debating over two years ago.

“You have to be confident and knowledgeable,” said Bartsoff. “But the biggest factor is quick thinking.”

The Grade 8 team of Matthew McConnachie and Kyla Mears finished fifth out of 12 competing teams.

Individually, McConnachie placed seventh and Mears finished 11th.

“They really held their own. I was quite proud of them for doing that,” said Marilyn Lunde, Crowe librarian and Debate Team coach.

The topic for the morning session was: “Be it resolved that capitalism is the most effective economic policy,” and was debated using cross-examination.

The afternoon sessions brought on a new challenge, with the topic: “Be it resolved that the federal government should take DNA at birth,” students debated in Canadian National Debate (CND) formats and the topic was impromptu, giving debaters an hour to prepare.

This was more time than Dawson was used to.

“Normally we get 15 minutes to a half an hour” she said.

The extra time was useful for the Grade 8s who were debating in CND formats as well as impromptu for the first time in only their second debate tournament.

With the Kelowna tournament out of the way Crowe debaters begin organizing for their next debate scheduled for the new year in Trail.

The junior and senior topic debated will be: “Be it resolved that the international community should solve man-made humanitarian crises.”

Danielle Clarke is a Crowe student participating in the Work Experience Program.