Reflection on the SA Team for 2020 by their Head Coach, Eric Kazadi

2020 was interesting and challenging for debaters worldwide! The COVID-19 pandemic meant a complete shift away from what we all knew and were comfortable with to the unchartered route of Online debating. Nevertheless, 2020’s South African team displayed an admirable amount of dedication and perseverance as they navigated 2020 Debating and they left us lots to celebrate. 

In classic SA Team fashion the team starting the year by breaking the internet with their incredibly wholesome team intro video which made debating social media headlines everywhere and goes to show that SA speakers are not merely talented orators, they also all have ambitions of reaching worldwide internet fame. 

You would think that being on the SA team alone was enough media attention, clearly not for our Debating Big Five. Our first tournament, Gwalia Open, ended in spectacular fashion with our team being crowned overall champions and 3 speakers featuring in the top 10 including both 1st and 2nd position. The team also competed in the Vancouver Pre-WSDC tournament and finished in the Octofinal. When we eventually got to Worlds, the team broke 2nd in their division and narrowly lost the OctoFinal on a 3-2 split. Interestingly, with 3 speakers in the top 10, SA celebrated yet another Best Speaker in the World title, our second in 5 years. 

A huge congratulations goes out to the 2020 SA team, what an incredible year and for being the absolute nicest group of individuals to coach and work with. None of these achievements would be possible without the massive showing of love and support from both the SA and greater debating community, so massive thank yous also go out to all our Assistant Coaches and to every nation who was willing to spar with us prior to WSDC. It truly was a team effort. 

We are so proud of our incredulously talented and hardworking pool of speakers and would like to thank everyone for supporting this team.

Eric Kazadi