The ninth Conyers’ Inter-Schools Debate Tournament took place on Monday, 4 November at Cayman International School. All local schools were invited to take part with 60 students from seven private and public schools on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac participating in the event. Students competed in two divisions, Novice and Open over two initial rounds where they debated issues ranging from whether “snitching “is acceptable to the appropriateness of calling out bigoted comments in your friend group to whether or not peer pressure is a positive thing.
The final debate round saw the two top teams from the previous rounds contend over the topical issue of whether the Cayman Islands should significantly increase the promotion of cruise ship tourism, which was also a resolution debated by all debaters, debating both sides.
The winners were as follows:
Open Division Individual Awards:
• Aiden Watler, Cayman Prep and High School, Best Speaker
• Leila Sulliman-Maw, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Second Place Speaker
• Sophie Ellison, Cayman Prep and High School, Third Place Speaker
Open Division Team Awards:
• Aiden Watler and Eva Muspratt, Cayman Prep and High School, Winning Team
• Leila Sulliman-Maw and Kayla Turner, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Runner up Team
• Sadie Finch and Thomas Dickens, Cayman International School, Third Place Team
Novice Division Individual Awards:
• Jack Coleman and Josh Cowell, Cayman International School, Winning Team
• Ainsley Imparato and Oriela Dzaghgouni, Cayman International School, Runner up Team
• Shamara Lewis and Jelani Hanson, John Gray High School, Winning Team
Novice Division Team Awards:
• Josh Cowell, Cayman International School, Best Speaker
• Oriela Dzaghgouni, Cayman International School, Second Place Speaker
• Shamara Lewis, John Gray High School, Third Place Speaker
More than 50 judges representing a wide swath of the business and legal community were selected to judge the first rounds, with The Hon. Madam Justice Carter of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands judging the final debate and offering constructive criticism. A number of local dignitaries including Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor & Head of the Civil Service, were on-hand to witness the debates and were impressed with the level of discourse. Ian Whan Tong, the Tournament Director since the tournament’s founding, said “Competitive debating provides fertile ground for all students in the Islands to exercise a ‘growth mindset,’ in which students embrace challenges, learn from constructive criticism, and are inspired by the success of others – all while having fun. Researching the impact of cruise tourism in our Islands too is a bonus. It is clear that after five consecutive years, the Conyers tournament is having a direct impact in the educational growth of students in the Cayman Islands.”
“We continue to be impressed with the students’ debating abilities and are proud to be able to offer a platform to allow local students to develop their critical thinking, rhetoric and oratory skills,” commented Craig Fulton, Partner at Conyers“We are grateful for the support of the schools, parents and judges for this worthy initiative and we look forward to the next debate.” The Conyers’ Inter-Schools Debate tournament is the sole high-school competitive debating tournament in the Cayman Islands. The 10th Conyers Inter-Schools Debate is scheduled to be held in February of next year.