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Speech and Debate team in Ireland

After winning 118 awards over 22 days of competition this season, the IVC Speech Team tested their talents by competing at the 34th Annual International Forensics Association (IFA) Speech and Debate Championships. IFA is an affiliate of the National Communication Association and promotes the diversity of speech and debate competition in countries around the world by hosting an annual tournament in alternating geographic locations. This year, Ireland was chosen as the location of the tournament. From March 7-13, IVC Speech traveled to Dublin to compete against 40 colleges and universities. The team competed in IPDA (individual) debate, extemporaneous speaking, persuasive speaking, impromptu speaking, and audio narration. 

IVC Speech was particularly successful in IPDA debate as four students advanced to the IPDA elimination rounds- the most of any school! Students were required to be well-versed in Irish policies as the topics debated ranged from whether the UK and EU should repeal the Northern Ireland Protocol, to whether Ireland should significantly decrease funding to the Irish Aid Program, to whether the UK should repeal the Legacy and Reconciliation Bill. 

Ultimately, IVC Speech Team member Lena Anecki had the luck of the Irish on her side. While her teammates received double octo-finalist awards, Lena advanced through a grueling eight debate rounds, including four elimination rounds, to be named the IPDA Semi-Finalist at the tournament. She held the honor of being the highest advancing community college student at the tournament! 

Co-Director of Forensics Jules French stated, “There were almost a hundred students entered into IPDA debate and to see Lena go head-to-head against schools like Western Kentucky University, Boise State University, and Lewis and Clark College is a testament to how talented of a speaker she truly is! Debate requires not only strong skills in communication, but also critical thinking, research, audience analysis, charisma, and the ability to think quickly on your feet. Lena excels in all of them!” 

IVC Forensics has a rich history of engaging in international exchanges. The team has traveled to China and Germany for international tournaments, and has hosted debate teams from England, Ireland, Japan, China, and Rwanda at IVC. During 2020, the team competed virtually against Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania in debate. Those interested in joining the team in the fall are encouraged to contact Jules French or Bill Neesen.