CDS Hosts 34th Annual World Individual Debating & Public Speaking Championships This Month!

Starting this Saturday, The Country Day School will be hosting the prestigious 34th World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships. From April 2-6, the event will run asynchronously with judging of pre-recorded submissions only. Then from April 9-10, it will run in three separate time zones, with Finals and Grand Finals for all events to be held live on Zoom from April 16-17 EDT.  
To put this incredible honour in perspective, here are some quick CDS debating facts:
*Over the past 14 years, CDS has qualified at least one debater (one time even three) for the World Championships – for a total of 12 students as follows:

2021    Maria Ivoditova '22 – virtual due to COVID
2020    Eliza Pasha '22 – virtual due to COVID    
2019    Anna Croxon '20, Anaïs Leiva von Bovet '19 and Maeve Tebbutt '19 - Toronto, ON 
2018    Anaïs Leiva von Bovet '19 and Maeve Tebbutt '19 - Cape Town, South Africa
2017    Olivia Railton '17 and Maeve Tebbutt '19 – Sydney, Australia
2016    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and Olivia Railton ’17 - Pittsburgh, PA
2015    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and Olivia Railton ’17 - Hong Kong, China
2014    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2013    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Durban, South Africa
2012    Reid Dobell ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2011    Lucas Regazzi ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2010    Victoria Sienczewski ’12 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2009    Genevieve Laurier ’09 and Rachael Andrew ’09 - Reading, U.K.
2008    Genevieve Laurier ’09 - Winnenden, Germany
*CDS has produced three World Champions over the past 14 years: Natalie Ganzhorn in 2016, Olivia Railton in 2017 and Anna Croxon in 2019.
*Maria Ivoditova '22 (pictured on the right) is the only CDS student to qualify this year for the second year in a row. Last year, she was the 2021 World Persuasive Speaking Champion and a finalist in all four categories!

*CDS debaters have travelled to eight different countries outside of Canada to compete, including Lithuania, Germany, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.
*This is only the third time in 34 years that the World Championships have taken place in Canada: St. John’s-Ravenscourt in Winnipeg in 1988, Branksome Hall in Toronto in 2019.

*Our debaters have gone on to attend Stanford, Oxford, Harvard and the London School of Economics, work for the Peace Corps and the National Bank of Canada, and pursue other careers  in international relations, law, politics, social justice organizations, and the arts.
*CDS Debating coach, Ms. Kerstin Wyndham-West, is highly respected among her independent school colleagues from around the world and has been working with our debaters for the past 25 years.
*This year, we will be hosting 116 students from 13 countries from around the world including (Canada, Cyprus, Lithuania, Morocco, South Africa, UK, USA, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Korea). 
Background on the World Championship:
The World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship (WIDPSC) is an annual international English language debating and public speaking tournament for individual high school-level students representing different countries. The Championship is represented by a diverse mix of high schools from countries as far reaching as Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, England, Bermuda, South Africa, Lithuania, Pakistan, Cyprus, Argentina, Columbia, India, South Korea, China and Germany.
The Championship is an innovative event, which requires students to interact and collaborate with like-minded peers from diverse and different schools, cultural backgrounds and countries. Each participant must compete in four different events: Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Persuasive or After Dinner Speaking and Interpretive Reading.
The challenging environment provides an avenue for individual students to not only practise and test their oratorical skills but to value the importance of the art of expression; the ability to communicate and gain recognition and respect for our ideas and opinions is vitally important.
The Championship is aligned with the ideals of excellence, identity, and the art of expression, the ability to communicate and gain recognition and respect for one’s ideas and opinions. It targets tomorrow's leaders - students in a global market who must learn to interact and collaborate with peers from diverse schools, cultural backgrounds and countries.

Thank you to all the members of our community, including some of our alumni debaters, who have volunteered as judges. This is sure to be an exciting few weeks for CDS and we look forward to welcoming the Debating world to Canada, even if it is virtually!

Land Acknowledgment

CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land.  CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5 
(905) 833-1220

Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.