Tag Archives: Team Hong Kong

Team Hong Kong Selections 2011 [WSDC 2011] [WIDPSC 2011]


Congratulations to the following 12 debaters who have made the Hong Kong squad for the World Schools Debating Championships 2011. Ultimately, 5 debaters will be chosen from the squad to represent Hong Kong in Dundee in August 2011.

  • Raphael Leung
  • Ben Allen
  • Tiffany Chung
  • Pavan Hegde
  • Sanborn Li
  • Griffith Cheng
  • Heather Pickerell
  • James Lo
  • Justin Lee
  • Austin Lee
  • Iris Zhang
  • Natalie So

I would like to thank all those who took part in the process. Good luck to those who missed out – you all have a lot to offer debating in Hong Kong. I look forward to seeing you all around the tournaments.

Greg Forse will call the first meeting of the squad before Christmas and spell out expectations. In general, we will train the squad regularly until February and then make the final 5 selection.

Hong Kong Schools Debating Council

https://hksdc.wordpress.com/ – Free speech. For all. Forever.

Worlds Teams Selection Announcement

The following two teams will be selected over the coming months. Below are details as to how these teams will be chosen. They are two distinct teams with very different skill sets, and therefore have two quite different selection processes.

1. WSDC: World Schools Debating Council Championships 2010 – Dundee, Scotland
    Tournament dates: August 16-26, 2011.
    Selection dates: November 22 and 24, 2010

2. WIDPSC: World Individuals Debating and Public Speaking Championship 2011 – Brisbane. Australia
     Tournament dates: April 3 – 9, 2011.
     Selection date: January 22, 2011

WSDC Selection

Number of places: 12 will be selected to form a squad which will be cut to the final team of 5 by the end of January after more intensive training and debates. (this is known as the squad system)

Dates: November 22nd (Monday) and 24th (Wednesday) 4.30 -7.30pm

Venue: To be announced

Trialists: Based on the rankings and performances at the recent HKSDC Senior Tournament, 18 students have earned the right to trial for the Hong Kong team. These students will be contacted shortly to determine their interest and availability. This method of selecting trialists was flagged in emails prior to the tournament and in several other announcements. HKSDC also reserves the right to consider, for inclusion in the trial, worthy candidates who were not available to debate on that day on a case by case basis.

Process: Trialists will complete 4 impromptu debates over two sessions before a panel of at least 6 selectors. Debaters will be mixed and matched until all selectors have seen all the debaters.

Contact: For more information or queries contact Michael Evershed at hongkongsdc@gmail.com

WIDPSC Selection

Number of places: 6 – maximum of 2 from any one school.

Date: January 22 2011

Venue: To be announced

Trialists: Each school can submit only 2 students for selection. Open to any school, but each school must supply an adjudicator. Schools should therefore conduct their own trials before the WIDPSC trial to determine the best two candidates.

Process: This is a stand alone, one day only event and the winner will be awarded a trophy from HKSDC. As in the past, this will be a mini World Individual’s Competition with all four categories being tested. For information about these, go to the WIDPSC resource center on the HKSDC website.
Students will be scored by the adjudicators on all four categories, their scores tallied and the top 6 students on the day will make up the team.

Rules: All the rules for the selection process will be published in due course.

Contact Person: For more information or queries contact the competition organizer, Mary Garland at mgarland@mail.sis.edu.hk


At the time of writing there is no sponsorship to defray the costs of student involvement in these two teams.
Experience tells us that at least $10,000 per person will be needed to cover the costs of travel, registration and coach’s subsidy.


Any student taking part in the trials must have prior parental permission to attend the tournaments.


At this stage register your interest with the contact persons: Mary Garland and Michael Evershed.
Further details will be published.

Bright future for debaters


From Young Post, South China Morning Post on 14th September 2010.

For the past 25 years, Hong Kong teams have performed well at international debating competitions, including the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) and the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC).

In 2007, Chris Sykes of Li Po Chun United World COllege set a national record by ranking sixth at WSDC, while the local team broke several Hong Kong records at this year’s WIDPSC.

Despite Hong Kong’s success, there has been no co-ordinated effort to organize territory-wide debating or public speaking contests in line wtih world school events. This is why Hong Kong could not send a team to the World Championships in Washington DC in 2008.

However, things finally came together in April this year. Michael Evershed of South Island School – manager of the WSDC team – set up the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council (HKSDC) with the support of both coaches and students across the city.
The council plans to organize two senior and two junior debating championships as well as a public speaking competition annually. It will also have the authority ot select both national debating and public speaking teams.
For the first time, HKSDC is organising debates under the world school system which involves two teams of three competing against each other.

The Heart of Europe Debating Tournament, a premier international event, provided the first chance for HKSDC to flex its new-found muscles. The council sent two teams to the Czech Republic after the debaters underwent intensive training supervised by official coaches Greg Forse and Roy Allen. The teams were accompanied by Raphael Leung, a trainee adjudicator from La Salle College.
Both teams performed extremely well – Team 1 made it to the finals, only to be beaten by South Africa, while Team 2 were knocked out in the quarter-finals. This was the best result for a Hong Kong team at an international tournament. On top of that, all eligible speakers ranked in the top 20.

HKSDC has been busy promoting debating in the city. It organised the Junior Debating Championships at Discovery Bay College in May. A total of 22 schools took aprt in the event with South Island School winning the title.

Twenty-eight schools will be participating in the first ever Senior Debating Championships, which will be held on September 25 at South Island School. It is bound to generate tremendous interest since the selections for the national debating team will be partly based on the performance of speakers at the competition.

HKSDC membership is open to students, coaches, teachers and associates from every school. They are welcome to learn more about the council, upcoming international and domestic tournaments, and the selction process for the national teams as well as register as a member at the council’s website, hksdc.wordpress.com.

Under the guidance of the HKSDC, Hong Kong’s debater’s have a bright future.

Heather Pickerell is a student at German Swiss International School

RESULTS: Heart of Europe Debating Tournament 2010


View Team HK’s photos of HoEDThere.

Hong Kong was invited to participate in the 2010 Heart of Europe Debating Tournament. After much discussion, Hong Kong decided not to send 1, but 2 teams to attend the Heart of Europe Debating Tournament in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The teams have been coached by Mr. Greg Forse and Mr. Roy Allen who took charge of the WSDC 2010 and WIDPSC 2010 teams respectively.

Hong Kong 1 Hong Kong 2
(C) Benjamin Allen (LSC)
Benjamin So (QC)
Heather Pickerell (GSIS)
James Lo (DBS)
Justin Lo (LSC
(C) Pavan Hegde (SIS)
Griffith Cheng (LSC)
Tiffany Chung (SIS)

Raphael Leung, of LaSalle College, also accompanied Team Hong Kong as an adjudicator at the tournament.

Both Hong Kong teams achieved great success at the tournament, and set several national records. Hong Kong 2 won 7 out of 8 preliminary rounds with 21 judges, and Hong Kong 1 won all 8 preliminary rounds with 23 judges, only dropping one judge. Hong Kong 2 was knocked out by Canada Bi-Coastal in the quarter finals, and Hong Kong 1 defeated Czech Republic 1 and Canada Bi-Coastal in the quarter finals and semi finals respectively, only to be defeated by Team South Africa in the Finals.

This marks the first time Team Hong Kong has made it past the quarter finals of an international debating tournament, as well as the first time a team has won a trophy. Hong Kong also performed extremely well individually, with all members who met the criteria of the individual ranking system ranking within the top 20. Here is the summary of the results:

Hong Kong 1

  • Ranked 1st in the preliminary rounds with 8 wins and 23 judges
  • Ranked 2nd place after being defeated by Team South Africa in the finals

Hong Kong 2

  • Ranked 4th in the preliminary rounds with 7 wins and 21 judges

NEW: Individual Rankings (only speakers who debated five rounds in the preliminaries are eligible)

  • Heather Pickerell (HK 1) – 2nd – 74,22619048
  • Benjamin So (HK 1) – 3rd – 73,83333333
  • Tiffany Chung (HK 2) – 7th – 73,58333333
  • Benjamin Allen (HK 1) – 11th – 73,43055556
  • Pavan Hegde (HK 2) – 15th – 73,30952381
  • Griffith Cheng (HK 2) – 18th – 73,0952381

NEW: More Results from the HoEDT website


R1: THBT all Drugs should be legalized
R3: THBT Turkey should be admitted into the European Union
R5: THBT Downloading Music and Films from the Internet should be prohibited
R8: THBT all foreign Forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan
GF: THBT Israel should be obliged (if necessary by force) to withdraw from all Lands acquired since 1966

Team HK Results

Round 1 – THBT all Drugs should be legalized
Hong Kong 1 vs UNITED STATES (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs BULGARIA (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Round 2 – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. TURKEY – Robert College A (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. TURKEY – Robert College B (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Round 3 – THBT Turkey should be admitted into the European Union.
Hong Kong 1 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia D (Winner Hong Kong 1, 2-1)
Hong Kong 2 vs. SOUTH AFRICA (Winner Hong Kong 2, 2-1)

Round 4 – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia C (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia B (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Round 5 – THBT Downloading Music and Films from the Internet should be prohibited
Hong Kong 1 vs. SERBIA – Serbia Math HighSchool (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia A (Winner Slovenia A, 1-2)

Round 6 – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. ISRAEL (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. ROMANIA – Romania 2 (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Round 7 – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. BULGARIA (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. ISRAEL (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Round 8 – THBT all foreign Forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan
Hong Kong 1 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia A (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-0)
Hong Kong 2 vs. SLOVENIA – Slovenia C (Winner Hong Kong 2, 3-0)

Quarter-Finals – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. CZECH REPUBLIC – Czech 1 (Winner Hong Kong 1, 3-2)
Hong Kong 2 vs. CANADA- Canada Bi-Coastal (Winner Canada, 2-3)

Semi-Finals – Impromptu
Hong Kong 1 vs. CANADA – Canada Bi-Coastal (Winner Hong Kong 1, 4-3)

Finals – THBT Israel should be obliged (if necessary by force) to withdraw from all Lands acquired since 1966
Hong Kong 1 vs. South Africa (Winner South Africa, 3-6)

After many hours of painstaking work, debater Heather Pickerell has managed to put the videos online for others to watch. Whether you want to see the world schools format or Team Hong Kong’s performance, the debate is a beauty to watch. The videos have been embedded below.

Alternatively, you can watch the debate in separate parts on Youtube. It has also been embedded below.

HK debate team gets workout


From Young Post, South China Morning Post on 23rd April 2010.

The Hong Kong debating team (from left) Benjamin Allen, Annette Chau, team coach Greg Forse, Prakash Sanker, Heather Pickerell, Paul Lau and teacher Michael Evershed.

While people in Hong Kong were celebrating the Lunar New Year, the Hong Kong debating team was proudly carrying the Bauhinia across the globe to Doha, Qatar, for the 22nd World Schools Debating Championship 2010.
Although the team lost in the Octofinals, it was a rewarding experience. After two gruelling rounds of selection in Hong Kong, six team members were eventually chosen – five to compete and one reserve. Captain Benjamin Allen (La Salle College), Annette Chau (Sha Tin College), Prakash Sanker (South Island School), Heather Pickerell (German Swiss International School) and Paul Lau (South Island School) were joined by reserve Arthur Chan (Li Po Chun United World College) after the final trial on October 4 last year.

The team coach was Greg Forse – a long-time professional who gave his time up to train the team. He was the coach in the Washington debate in 2008 and a debater in the Calgary debate in 2005. His guidance and support were crucial to the team. Managing and organising the team was Michael Evershed, a veteran English teacher from South Island School and a former debater, who also helped in training the team.

The championship is a well-respected event, and brings together teams from all over the world to debate on a variety of topics, ranging from motions focused on current affairs to those speculating the theoretical. The five-member teams have one hour to prepare and three are chosen to debate. Each speech lasts eight minutes, with a reply speech of four minutes. Points of information, which allow the opposing team to interrupt a speaker, are also allowed.

Hong Kong has an excellent track record of always ‘breaking’ – moving to the knockout stages after the eight preliminaries – as well as being ranked among the top 16 teams in the world. However, the team was hard pressed to keep that record with 57 countries competing and surprisingly strong teams from countries such as India and Sri Lanka. Hong Kong did manage to break in 16th position, narrowly beating South Korea. In the end it was Hong Kong’s 6,075.5 points against Korea’s 6,072. The team took part in 13 debates – nine official and four informal spar debates with other countries, including Israel, Indonesia and Korea.

Of the eight preliminaries, Hong Kong had four prepared debates against Chile, Germany, Bulgaria and Mongolia, while our impromptu motions were against Wales, Bermuda, Singapore and Slovenia. With solid performances, especially in the first debate against Chile where Hong Kong was, by points, the best team in the world on that motion, we gained a perfect score of four unanimous wins for the four prepared debates. But in the impromptu rounds, we faced some serious opposition from Singapore, Slovenia and Wales, which we all lost by close margins.

We faced Australia in the Octofinals, where we were knocked out. But in their last performances on the world stage in high school debating, Annette and Prakash gave speakers ranked No. 1, 2 and 4 in the world a hard time. The debate was called ‘An unconvincing win for Australia’ by a Qatari newspaper.

In an epic final battle between Canada and England, Canada emerged as the world champions this year, winning 8-3 on the motion ‘We should never bail out big companies’. After not sending a team last year, encouraged by this year’s results and looking forward to next year’s event in Scotland, team Hong Kong is already gearing up.

Debate HK, an organisation headed by Forse, has been getting more support.

RESULTS: WIDPSC 2010 – Team Hong Kong


The 2010 World Individuals Debating and Public Speaking Championships have finished. Held in Lithuania this year, it has been a resounding success, especially for Team Hong Kong. Of the 52 spots in the finals (essentially a semi-final), Hong Kong snagged a record 7 spots in total, the best in Hong Kong’s 3 years of attendance.
Prakash Sanker and Paul Lau each grabbed 2 final spots last year totaling 4. That record was broken with this years astounding 7 final spots.

Debating : Heather Pickerell
Impromptu Speaking : Heather Pickerell, Benjamin So, Sachin Srivastava
Persuasive Speaking : Tiffany Chung
Interpretative Reading : Sachin Srivastava, Griffith Cheng

With the conclusion of WIDPSC 2010, the overall results have also come in. Team Hong Kong of Heather Pickerell, Sachin Srivastava, Benjamin So, Tiffany Chung, Griffith Cheng and Geoffrey (Biffo) Liew broke new ground in a highly competitive field.
Although Hong Kong was unlucky not to have any grand finalists, the record for 2010 was still shockingly impressive.

Here are the overall rankings for Team Hong Kong 2010:

  • 6th – Heather Pickerell – 725.58
  • 16th – Sachin Srivastava – Hong Kong – 719.60
  • 20th – Benjamin So – Hong Kong – 718.00
  • 24th – Tiffany Chung – Hong Kong – 715.83
  • 25th – Griffith Cheng – Hong Kong – 715.58
  • 44th – Geoffrey Liew – Hong Kong – 695.93

Congratulations to Team Hong Kong for a wonderful showing. Many of the team will remain in contention next year so the future looks bright for Hong Kong. As the founder of WIDPSC John Robinson said himself “Hong Kong is on the Map!”

Hong Kong

Results for Hong Kong following the 2 rounds of each category

Read the rest of this entry