CDS had three Grade 11 students qualify to compete in last week’s International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Competition (IISPSC), held virtually for the first time in its 39-year history.
All three debaters are in Grade 11 this year,Arjun Walia, Maria Ivoditova and Eliza Pasha, and each submitted a recorded Persuasive speech. Arjun and Maria also submitted their entries for Interpretive Reading and Eliza submitted her Dramatic Interpretation entry.
According to Eliza, pre-recording her speeches in advance was an entirely different experience, as ordinarily she performs on adrenaline, whereas this time it became an exercise in perfecting her pre-recorded speech.
“In general, a lot of things were different done over a screen, including the things I was worrying about (background noises, my family walking in, etc.). I also missed being able to meet tons of likeminded peers from across the globe, but was happy that there was some arrangement for us to all showcase the amazing performances I was able to be a part of.”
Last Saturday evening, Maria and Eliza learned they had both qualified for the Finals on Sunday - Maria in Interpretive Reading and Impromptu and Eliza in Persuasive.
Maria won the St. Margaret Trophy for Top U16 Student at IISPSC 2020. She was 3rd in Interpretive Reading Finals and finished as the 5th placed Canadian student (6th place overall), which qualifies her for Worlds to be hosted by Clifton School in Durban, South Africa in 2021.
"I'm really excited because this is my first time going to Worlds," said Maria. "Many of the former CDS students that I looked up to when first getting started attended Worlds. This opportunity has been a goal of mine for a long time and is very rewarding. I'm also really grateful for my debate coaches, Ms. Wyndham-West and Mr. Fanni, for their ongoing support."
Of note, this will be the14th consecutive yearthat CDS has qualified at least one debater for the World Championships.
Arjun finished 15th and Eliza was in the Top 25. These strong performances meant that theCDS team finished as the 3rd Canadian team out of 40!