This Saturday, November 16th, students from across the Island will come together as they compete in the 30th Annual BJSL National Schools Debating Tournament.

The first Secondary Schools’ Debate Tournament was held in 1989 as a community service project launched by the Bermuda Junior Service League under President Victoria Cox. The project’s mission statement was to provide a forum in which all secondary school students island wide could come together and participate in non-athletic competition.

The inaugural tournament had just 3 adjudicators and 15 students representing 5 secondary schools – The Berkeley Institute, The Bermuda High School, Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Saltus Grammar School, and Warwick Academy.

The competition will take place at Saltus Grammar School starting at 9 a.m., and feature teams from Sandys Secondary Middle School, Saltus Grammar School, The Bermuda High School, Somersfield Academy, Bermuda, and The Berkeley Institute.

“With this being the 30th year, we are particularly excited to host this year’s tournament. Not only is it a chance for students to showcase their hard work, but it provides an arena in which they can engage in critical thinking and strategic dialogue” remarked Nikki-Lynn Marshall, President of the Bermuda Debate Society.

“We are also excited to welcome our adjudicators who will be volunteering their time to serve as judges during the debates. Members from across the community have committed their time and we are truly grateful to them for that.

“We would also like to thank our sponsors, without whom this tournament would not be possible,” Ms. Marshall continued. Sponsors for the tournament include the MarketPlace and The English Speaking Union.

Middle school students will debate whether or not we should eat meat, while high school debaters will debate whether or not private schools should be banned. Students will also have to prepare unaided for a surprise Impromptu Motion which they will receive one hour before the final round of debates.

Members of the public are encouraged to come out to support the event, particularly the Finals which are due to take place at 3:30 p.m.