English debating at Trinity has seen much growth over the years since it took up the Asian Parliamentary style or more famously known, World School Debating Championship style early last year. We had satisfactory results since early January where we had our A team breaking into the knockout rounds every tournament.
Recently though, the 2 teams have seen a massive boost in performance, where both A & B teams were breaking in at all 4 tournaments and moving all the way to at least the quarter-finals and at times to the semi-finals which until recently has been dominated by Colombo Schools.
Shanthi Peiris Memorial Debating Championship 2021
The A team won 4 of the 5 preliminary rounds and broke into the Octo Finals ranking 2nd in the tournament. They won the octo-finals against Gateway Dehiwala A and moved on to the quarter-finals against S. Thomas’ College B, then semi-finals where they were defeated by Hillwood College A.
The B Team won 3 of the 5 preliminary rounds and broke into the Octo Finals ranking 11th. They went against St. Bridget’s Convent A but lost by the closest margin possible in the Octo Finals.
This was the first time both teams broke into Octo-finals after preliminaries, and Trinity A advanced past octo-finals after having lost four knockout rounds in earlier tournaments. Moreover, Trinity featured four speakers in the top 15, Parinda and Thithira of team A tying for 6th best speakers and Janidu of team A and Ammar of team B tying for 13th best speakers in the tournament.
S.W.R.D Bandaranaike Memorial Debating Championship 2021
Both A and B teams won 5 of the 6 preliminary rounds and broke 4th and 5th respectively.
In the Octo-Finals Team A went against St. Bridget’s Convent A, while Team B went against Wesley College A and lost. A team won their debate and moved into the quarter-finals where they went against Wesley College A and won by a unanimous decision. In the semi-finals, they were defeated by Colombo International School A.
This tournament was the first time that both of Trinity’s teams ranked in the top 5, further Thithira Jayakody of Team A ranked 5th best speaker in the tournament.
D.B.Jayatilaka Memorial Debating Championship
Team B won 4 out of the preliminary rounds while Team A won 3 of the 5, The 5th and last preliminary round was in the matter of fact Team A Vs Team B, a matchup that hasn’t happened at a tournament in quite some time. The teams took the opportunity to have fun in the round and make it a memorable one. With fun friendly banter exchanges between the two and phrases such as “We believe team Trinity wins this debate” brought up as well. The debate was commended by the adjudicators for being one of the most entertaining rounds they have judged which had both content and humour, a style Trinity is known for. Team B was victorious but both teams qualified for the breaks. Team A and B were placed 8th and 7th respectively. A and B moved into the octo finals and went against Colombo International School B and Holy family Convent B respectively and emerged victorious. But later team A was defeated in the quarter-finals by Ladies College A and team B was defeated by Bishop’s college A.
Henley Debating Championship
The most recent tournament for the teams, but not the last, both teams qualified for the breaks winning 4 of the 5 rounds. Unfortunately, both teams were defeated in the octo finals by Ananda College B and Gateway College Colombo.
An achievement for Trinity was when Thithira Jayakody of team A ranked 3rd best speaker in the tournament.
Additionally, Thithira Jayakody and Parinda Rathnayake and Ammar Zaffaullah were selected to try out for the national pool, a first for Trinity once again. The tryouts were hosted on the 18th of September, and for the 1st time in history, Trinity College added 2 new debaters, Thithira Jayakody and Ammar Zaffaullah to the national pool, through which the team that will represent Sri Lanka in the World School Debating Championship will be chosen.
It’s still midseason for the debaters and with more tournaments scheduled including our very own tournament The Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Debating Championship scheduled for later this year, we believe this is opening a new chapter for Trinity Debating.
Review by Pavara Rambukwella
(Vice Captain, Debating Team)