Since 1991 Bermuda has participated each year in the World Schools Debate Competition. The highest level of senior school debate in the world, the BDS is proud to sponsor the national team as they represent Bermuda each year.

Meet the 2022 Bermuda National Debate Team

Ava Gibson

Bermuda High School

Ava Gibson, our team captain, has a passion for public speaking and although having only started debating recently has enjoyed a meteoric rise accumulating top speaker awards as well as undefeated wins in various local tournaments. Ava is also a student debate leader with responsibility for coaching her school’s middle school teams. Outside of debate Ava is a passionate environmental activist and was elected to the Bermuda Youth Climate Advisory Board. Ava has also played violin for 11 years, obtaining a merit in her Grade 8 ABRSM exam in 2021. She has also participated in concerts with the Bermuda Philharmonic, and was the leader of the Menuhin Youth Orchestra.

Marli Spriggs

Bermuda High School

This is Marli Spriggs’ first year participating in WSDC, and having been debating since middle school she has is looking benefit from this new experience. Locally, Marli has been awarded an array of debate awards, including awards highlighting her skills in impromptu debating, and as the overall top speaker. In her spare time Marli enjoys reading, creative writing, playing violin, tennis, badminton, practicing karate, and writing book reviews for a local newspaper, The Royal Gazette.

Olly Cherry

Somersfield Academy

This will be Olly Cherry’s third year as a member of the Bermuda National Debate Team, making his first WSDC debut online in 2021. Olly has been debating for over 5 years and was a member of winning team at the most recent international tournament held in Bermuda. Olly also received individual speaking awards for his outstanding participating in both prepared and impromptu debates. Outside of debate Olly is heavily involved in sports including basketball, football, and running, in addition to his participating in Interact and the Bermuda Youth Climate Advisory Board.

Matthew Banner

Warwick Academy

Although Matthew Banner only began debating a year ago he has taken the local circuit by storm and recent won the award for 2nd overall best speaker at the most recent international tournament held in Bermuda. Matthew has found debate as an effective way to strengthen his critical thinking and public speaking skills, and enjoys the camaraderie and team work debate requires. Matthews hobbies include working out, and playing volleyball with his friends. Matthew is also a lover of animals and is a volunteer at the local zoo.

Annie Pursell

Somersfield Academy

Annie Pursell is the team’s youngest member and joined the national team last year for WSDC 2022. Annie has been participating in local tournaments for several years and has received various awards, including winning local tournaments alongside her teammates. Outside of debate Annie swims competitively, dances, and plays the piano and guitar. As if she wasn’t busy enough with these things, Annie also finds the time to pursue her hobbies which include reading, going to the beach, and enjoying time with her friends, and family.

Coaching Team

Kijaun Millett

Team Coach

Kijaun Millett, our Team Coach, has been involved in debating in some capacity for over 20 years, beginning his engagement in primary school and eventually representing Bermuda as a debater at WSDC 2010 in Doha, Qatar. Kijaun took over as coach of the national team in 2019 and enjoys being able to give back and help mentor upcoming debaters. Outside of debate Kijaun enjoys playing tennis, spending time outdoors, and travelling to experience new places and embrace new cultures.

Rio Morton

Team Manager

Rio Morton is our Team Manager and has been a supporter of debate for decades, finding fulfillment in assisting students’ development – both in debate and wholistically as learners. This is Rio’s first year as Team Manager but nonetheless she has proven to be an asset to the team. She. Outside of debate Rio has dedicated her life to embracing the joys of swimming at sunrise, reading, and travelling.

Debate was the most critical tool for my personal, academic and professional development. It helped me to learn to think critically and analytically by helping me to see both sides of an argument. I credit debate with helping me to be successful in obtaining scholarships, doing well on interviews, negotiating various agreements, planning and developing strategy.

Collin Anderson
WSDC 1995 (Wales)



Alison Dyer (’91)

Colm Singleton (’91)

Michael Pearson (’91)

Carolyn Thomas (’91)

Janita Burke (’92)

N Koshea Scott Millett (’92)

Charles Sousa (’92)

Michelle Correia (’92 & ’93)

Tariq Smith (’93)

Rachael Barritt (’93)

Chen Foley (’93 & ’94)

Gina Bassett (’94)

Stacey Barnum (’94)

Edmund Robinson (’94)

Jennifer Burland (’94 & ’95)

Collin Anderson (’95)

Selena Mello (’95)

Nicholas Pacheco (’95)

Eugene Johnston (’97)

Rashan Smith (’97)

Trevor Leitch (’97 & ’98)

Jennifer Rhind (’97 & ’98)

Vincent Richardson (’98)

Ian Ostroff-Striffler (’98)

Jordan Zancanella (’97, ’98 & ’99)

Ryan Marshall (’99)

Kalilah Robinson (’99)

Eli Lipschultz (’99 & ’00)

Ruth O’Kelly-Lynch (’99 & ’00)

Christie Hunter (’00, ’01 & ’02)

Christine Mayor (’00 & ’01)

Aziza Ahad (’01 & ’02)

Zahra Muhammad (’01 & ’02)

Sarita Ebbin (’02 & ’03)

Krystl Assan (’03)

Richard Hillen (’03 & ’04)

Shaunee James (’03 & ’04)

Akilah Beckles (’04 & ’05)

Madeleine Gardner (’04)

Mich’ele Smith (’05)

Patrick Suter (’05)

Janita DeBraga (’05)

Claire Kelly (’05 & ’06)

Adrienne Smatt (’06)

Adam Kiki-Charles (06 & ’07)

Blake Sonnenfeld (’06 & ’07)

Michelle Kelly (’06, ’07, ’08 & ’09)

Sasha Slayton (’07)

Aliyyah Ahad (’07)

Catherine Campbell (’08)

Nikki-Lynn Marshall (’08 & ’09)

Nicholas Rinehimer (’08 & ’09)

Ellisse Johnston (’09)

Jacari Brimmer-Landy (’08, ’09 & ’10)

Arielle Desilva (’10)

Coy Kijaun Millett (’10)

Eoin McMahon (’10)

Jordon Osbourne (’10)

Glenn Simmons (’11)

Marcus Bean (’11 & ’12)

Michael Cabot (’11 & ’12)

Shannon Denham (’12)

Daniel Pell (’12)

Nicholas Pell (’13)

William Campbell (’13)

Jashonae Smith-Tannock (’13)

Lucien Anderson (’15)

Kimika Jackson (’15)

Namrata Bisht (’15 & ’16)

Bathsheba Jones (’16)

Megan Sutcliffe (’15, ’16 & ’17)

Yasser Saia (’17)

Asha Symonds (’16, ’17 & ’18)

Tyrese Coakley (’17 & ’18)

Sierra Brangman (’17 & ’18)

Halle Teart (’18)

Hailey O’Donnell (’20)

Genevieve Lau (’20)

Ywione Darrell (’20, ’21)

McKenzie-Kohl Tuckett (’20, ’21)

Christina de Kock (’21)

Gabrielle Quinn-Sirera (’21)

Oliver ‘Olly’ Cherry (’21, ’22, ’23)

Ava Gibson (’22, ’23)

Annie Pursell (’22, ’23)

Matthew Banner (’23)

Marli Spriggs (’23)


Ziad Dajani (’92)

Karen Purdie (’93 & ’94)

Gladstone Thompson (’95 – ’00, ’02, ’09, ’11, ’13, ’15)

Linda Parker (’01)

Corey Butterfield (’03 – ’05)

Trevor Leitch (’06 & ’07)

Christianna (Hiles) Dakin (’08, ’10 & ’12)

Akilah Beckles (’16 – ’17)

Glenn Simmons (’18)

Coy Kijaun Millett (’20 – ’23)


Elizabeth Virgo (’93, ’95 & ’97 – ’99)

Mary Murray (’99 & ’02)

Chris Harris (’99)

Trevor Leitch (’03 & ’04)

Nicholas Pacheco (’06)

Christina Mayor (’06)

Christie Hunter (’06)

Jennifer Haworth (’07)

Calvin Thomas (’08)

Susan Panchaud (’09)

Richard Hillen (’10 & ’13)

Aziza Ahad (’10)

Marisa Sharpe (’11 & ’12)

Akilah Beckles (’14)

Aliyyah Ahad (’14)

Arleen Swan (’15)

Christianna Dakin (’16)

Wanda Gibson (’17)

Gladstone Thompson (’18)

Amy Dingley-Jones (’20)

Meishka Zuill (’20)

Adrienne Smatt (’21)

Susan Behrens (’22)

Brice Pursell (’23)