Nevis team wins 46th Leeward Island Debating Competition


Rol-J Williams and K-Jel Smithen receiving the winner’s award.

ANGUILLA–The Nevis debating team emerged victorious as the winners of the 2018 Leeward Island Debating Competition on Sunday, March 4, a repeat victory for them as they also won the title in 2017. Rol-J Williams, one of the debaters from Nevis, was recognised and given the overall best speaker award.

Government Minister Cora Richardson-Hodge opened the ceremony held at the Blue Ridge facility overlooking Sandy Ground on Friday evening, March 2, by welcoming the debating teams from the participating islands of Antigua, St. Maarten, Nevis and hosting island Anguilla to the competition. It was noted that the full complement of participating islands were not present for the 2018 competition, St. Kitts, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands, due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Irma.


The three-day competition began with St. Maarten debaters Dawud Chapman and Diandra Marlen facing off with Antigua debaters Kamalie Mannix and Princess Brown on the topic “Mental Health Issues among Caribbean Adolescents Have Largely Been Ignored,” with St. Maarten’s team proposing and Antigua opposing. St. Maarten won the debate, and thus qualified for a spot in the final debate.

On Saturday, March 3, Nevis debaters Rol-J Williams and Lauren Lawrence faced off with Anguilla debaters T’arah Niles and Edwin Sutton on the topic of “Climate Change Supersedes Crime and drug Trafficking as the Greatest Threat to the Stability and Development of the Caribbean,” with Nevis proposing and Anguilla opposing. Nevis won the debate thereby guaranteeing their spot in the final debate.

On Sunday, March 4, Nevis debaters Rol-J Williams and K-Jel Smithen, proposing, and St. Maarten debaters Dawud Chapman and Reanna Thomas, opposing, debated the topic “Black Peoples’ Suspicion and resentment of White People is Justified” with Nevis winning the debate and competition.

Crowd participation, enthusiasm and support was on full display throughout all three nights of competition. During the waiting periods of the judges’ deliberations, the audience was given, and took, the opportunity to voice their personal thoughts and positions on the debate topic of the night, oftentimes with passion and personal stories equalling that of the debaters.

The competition closed with certificates of participation presented to all debate team members as well to the winning teams. Justice Don Mitchell was awarded the George Irish Oratorical Award for his work over many years with the Anguilla debating teams.

Source: The Daily Herald