For the second time in five years, a Del student has won the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC). Grade 11 Del student Megan Campbell has just returned from a full week of competition at Bishops Dioscesan College in Cape Town, South Africa (April 9-15) where she was crowned World Champion. What makes this story unique (and incredible) is the fact that her older brother Connor won the World Championship at the 2013 WIDPSC in Durban, South Africa. Megan and Connor are the first-ever brother/sister duo to win world championships. Megan is the youngest competitor to win the coveted award in many years. For the first time in 31 years, there was a co-winner of this year’s top award -- Eleanor L. of Australia.
The WIDPSC is an annual week-long competition that brings together the world’s best high school debaters and public speakers to compete in four disciplines: Debate; Persuasive Speaking; Impromptu Speaking; and Interpretive Reading. WIDPSC competitors must advance through qualifier competitions in their respective countries. Megan joined Team Canada by placing among the top eight competitors of the Ontario Qualifier in November and then placing among the top eight competitors of the National Public Speaking Championships in Winnipeg in February.
This year’s WIDPSC featured 114 of the world’s best high school debaters and public speakers from 11 countries, including: Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Lithuania, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Separate winners are announced in each of the four speaking categories. The competitor with the highest overall average is crowned World Champion. Megan and Eleanor finished in a statistical dead heat for top spot overall. In addition to first overall, Megan finished second in the Debate Category and third in the Interpretive Reading Category.
This past week was a tumultuous time to hold the competition in South Africa. It coincided with the funeral of Winne Madikizela-Mandela (April 14), the 100th birth year of Nelson Mandela and an ongoing severe water shortage in the city (restricting people to 50 litres of water use per day). It was an eye-opening experience for Megan in many respects.
Megan is thankful for the support shown by family and friends, Mr. Iacobazzi, Mr. Bellisario, Mr. Viotto and the Del Parents’ Association for their support.
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