Academics: Two Grammar Students Named to the National Debating Team
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
On April 12 – 14th, 2019, debaters from across Canada arrived in Halifax to participate in the National Debate Championships.
Nicholas Abernethy‘20 and Matthew Farrell‘20 were part of the 124 debaters who took part and vied for the title of national debate champion. As per tradition, try-outs also known as the “Selection Tournament” followed the National Debate Championships to select 12 members for the national development team. The chosen candidates will take part in a series of workshops to train for the World Championships. Then, out of the 12 candidates, five candidates and two spares will be drafted for the World Championships.
During this year’s Selection Tournament both Matthew and Nicholas were chosen for the national developmental team for 2020, which means they have a chance to go to the World Championships in Mexico next year.
“This is a great achievement for Grammar. Grammar is the only school in Atlantic Canada to have students selected for the national team, in addition to being the only school in Canada to have more than one student on the national team,” said Joshua Judah, debate coach and trial lawyer.
“It’s impressive to see Nick make the national development team for 2020 even though he only began debating a year ago. He is just a smart, talented fellow. He really showed us what he was capable of at national tryouts and brings a lot to the table.”
Matthew made the national development team last year and got to compete in Romania. He was also selected as one of five students for the 2019 Canadian National team and will be competing in the World Championships in Thailand this summer.
“Matthew is in grade 11 now, and it’s so rare for a student to get two chances. It’s quite incredible,” said Joshua. “He started in grade five, and even back then he was pretty good. He’s come a long way.”
Matthew says it’s been great to achieve success in debating.
“I credit a lot to the school’s incredible debate coach, Josh Judah. Nationals were incredibly enjoyable, and I’m hoping the worlds in Thailand will be the same”, says Matthew.
Joshua helps coach debate at Grammar and also helps at the national level, with Jason Xiao, an Oxford law student and a coach for the World Championships team.
We wish Matthew great success in Thailand, and both him and Nicholas best of luck in making the World Championships team for 2020.