A&B debaters thank supporters, hope to learn

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Members of the Antigua and Barbuda debating team expressed gratitude to their supporters following the Leeward Island Debating Competition finals on Sunday.
Speaking to OBSERVER about their experience, team members Akilah Southwell and Alishia Paul said the team enjoyed being part of the competition and meeting people from different islands.
“We worked hard, put a lot of time, energy and money. It was not only the debaters, but also the staff, sponsors and persons behind the scenes who assisted in writing and delivering a good script,” Paul said.
“It was a nice experience for me as it was my first time attending the Leeward Island Debate Competition. It was nice to see other countries’ debating style and skills. I would have hoped [that we could have] won; it was a learning experience and we will get better,” Southwell said.
The topic for the finals was “The Caribbean countries have done enough to afford the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community the same legal rights and protections as other citizens.”
Team Nevis defeated Team Antigua and Barbuda in the finals by 66 points, earning 569 points and winning the competition for the third time running.
Team Antigua and Barbuda amassed 503 points.
Other winners announced on the night were Anguilla’s Ivor Adams as “The Best Overall Speaker,” and Azel Williams as “Best Speaker at the Debate Finals.”
Meanwhile, the staff sponsor for the Antigua and Barbuda Debating Team, Na-Ajele Buffonge, said Antigua needs to become more serious about debating.
“When we have to go for debates we only practice for the competition, but [Anguilla set up their debating society] to practice all year round,” she said.
Buffonge divulged that in September she hopes to have a foundation dedicated to debating.
Team Nevis’s triumph means they now have 10 competition wins, equaling the combined sum of victories by Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts.

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