source: The Royal Gazette
written by: Caroline Skinner

An all-girl debating team has notched up Bermuda’s best ever performance at an international competition.

The Independent Bermuda team was pipped at the post by South Korea at the Heart of Europe debating competion and came second.

But the team won several individual awards, including best overall speaker for Hailey O’Donnell, of Bermuda Hight School.

Schoolmate Genevieve Lau got the third best speaker award and Kate Tobin, of Somersfield Academy took the fourth spot.

Kate’s mother, Krystalle Tobin, who the primary coach for the island team, said: “ “We are incredibly happy for the team to have made it into the finals and commend the girls for their hard work which resulted in this fantastic result.”

“We are also grateful for the outpouring of support that we received from home.”

The trio advanced to the quarter finals of the competition on Monday when they beat host nation the Czech Republic’s CDS Red team.

The girls then conquered the Bulgarian team in the semi-finals after a 3-2 split decision by the judges.

The Independent Bermuda lost out to South Korea in the final on the motion that “This house would ban the use of a space programme for any military or covert purposes”.

The Independent Bermuda debate team was also assisted by Coy Kijaun Millet, a national debate team coach.

He said: “the team have worked hard and represented Bermuda well. This is the highest international achievement Bermuda debate has seen to date, so we are very proud of the girls and celebrate their accomplishments, both as a team and individually as top speakers.”