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Help Team NCU get to the 'Worlds'

Monday, July 14, 2014    

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TWO members of the Northern Caribbean University debating team — Jevon Minto and Janiel Lambert — have been awarded much coveted scholarships to attend the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia later this year.

The news came via e-mail from the organising committee, which is offering the scholarship for the first time this year.

"I was in my room studying for an exam when my coach called to inform me that I was selected. I was at a loss for words. Immediately, I picked up the phone to call my team member Janiel Lambert so we could really celebrate together, but unfortunately five attempts resulted in voicemail," said Minto, recalling the moment he learned of the development.

"I was happy that scholarships were being offered as the current financial climate has made it harder for us to secure funds," team coach Noreen Daley told the Jamaica Observer Central.

"Having applied for the scholarship, like many others around the world, our only hope was to remain positive that we would stand out among the many," she added.

The scholarship goes a long way for the team, which was previously struggling to come up with the $2 million needed for the four members. To that end, they organised a 5K run/walk dubbed Relay for Debate.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 27 at Brooks Park in Mandeville, beginning at 6:00 am. It will feature a mini debate match between NCU and a corporate entity. Registration fee is $1,000.

Sharmica Holness, graduate of NCU and the event's conceptualiser, is urging Jamaica to support what is a worthy cause.

"Debating fosters critical thinking and serves as a platform for intellectual development. It is through debating that persons are able to express their opinions in an appropriate manner instead of bashing other points of view. It is against this background that I'm imploring individuals as well as corporate entities to help Team NCU on their journey to 'Worlds'," she said.

Added Lambert: "Supporting Relay for Debate is supporting intellectual advancement among Jamaican youth. Three youngsters who are focused on representing Jamaica on the world stage can only do so with your support. We are ready and rearing to go, but only you can make this a reality, so we're asking Jamaica to help us take Malaysia by storm."

NCU is the reigning debate champions for the county of Middlesex and it placed second at the Sagicor/UTech National Debating Championship in 2013. The team first entered the WUDC or 'Worlds' as it is commonly called, in Chennai, India last year and walked away with 10 points from a possible 16.

'Worlds', the largest global debating competition, uses the British Parliamentary Debate format and requires that participants be versed on all areas as motions are given only (15) minutes before each match. The event is hosted by a different university each year, which is selected by the World Universities Debating Council.

For information on how to participate, search 'Relay for Debate' on Facebook, e-mail dcs@ncu.edu.jm or call 963-7810/557-4973.

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