Thithira Jayakody and Ammar Zaffarullah, while representing Team Sri Lanka emerged Champions at the Oldham Debating Cup 2023. Thithira also emerged as the 4th Best Speaker after six rounds of intense preliminary debate, which saw Sri Lanka break first to the knockout segment. The 9th edition of the Oldham Cup, organized by the Anglo-Chinese Junior College, is a highly prestigious tournament featuring heavy weights in the world schools’ debating arena, including Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and China.
In the Grand Finals against South Africa, Thithira spoke as the opposition whip alongside Colombo International Schools’ Chanidu Ratnayake and Ashwin Laksumanage, on the motion “This House Opposes the Continued Progress Towards Deep Global Integration”. Team Sri Lanka demolished their opponents with a 7-0 unanimous verdict by the adjudicators.
The victory follows a string of dominant performances by the Trinitian duo on the national debate team. The two were announced as members of Team Sri Lanka last December, following a very successful stint in the Development Squad in 2022. At the ZI WSDC tournament in January, Sri Lanka triumphed over South Korea to emerge Champions. Ammar was also adjudged as the Best Speaker of the tournament, while Thithira ranked the 3rd Best Speaker. At the “Asian Online Debating Championship” the outfit was limited to the Grand Finals after a close defeat to Singapore, a tournament which saw Thithira emerge 3rd Best Speaker at the top of the Sri Lankan pack. The national team also reached the Grand Finals at the elite “Tournament of Champions- Winter Invitationals” back in February.
The strenuous schedule of tournaments are in preparation for the Worlds Schools’ Debating Championship to be held in Vietnam in July. We wish both Thithira and Ammar the very best as they carry the Trinity standard into the realm of global debating.
Review by Parinda Ratnayake