Our most recent network-wide event, the BASIS International & Bilingual School China (BIBS·C) Speech & Debate Tournament, was a huge success!  As a network of schools, BASIS International & Bilingual Schools have the resources for teachers to further their students’ learning opportunities through network-wide comradery, initiatives, and competitions. With the opening of new campuses and ease of travel having opened back up between the schools, these network-wide efforts will only continue to grow and develop over time.

Speech & Debate Tournament Overview

On the weekend of March 25-26, 2023, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour hosted a BASIS International & Bilingual School China (BIBS·C) Speech & Debate Tournament–the first event to welcome students from across all seven campuses in the China. The tournament featured over 250 students and 60 faculty and staff from across all the BASIS International & Bilingual China schools. Over the course of the preliminary competition, there were 525 speeches and performances and 164 debates. As the fifth tournament of the year and the season’s first in-person, synchronous event, it signified a major milestone for participants. With the country’s return to normalcy and eased travel restrictions for schools, this event represented a triumph of spirit as students from all our campuses in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Huizhou, Nanjing, and Shenzhen gathered together.

Travel & Accommodations

The weekend began with a few challenges as weather issues grounded flights for the Chengdu and Hangzhou teams, causing delays in their travel to Guangdong province. Fortunately, the tournament organizers were able to postpone the event’s start time to allow these students to arrive and compete.

Jennifer Gunter, Vice Head of High School and sponsor of the Speech & Debate Team at Chengdu, reported Friday, “It was a long day, but the kids are in good spirits!”

Hangzhou Head Coach Nicholas Burr shared that they didn’t hesitate to accommodate us when he explained the situation to Tournament Host Mark Wilkerson and Tournament Director Colin Malinak. “The entire team at Park Lane Harbour went above and beyond to ensure Hangzhou’s participation,” he said. “It was a difficult call and a big sacrifice, but we were supported and encouraged by our wonderful hosts, tournament staff, and fellow competitors at every step. They embody the values of inclusion, fair competition, and hospitality that make our speech & debate community so special.” The flexibility and professionalism of the Operations teams at the impacted schools and Park Lane Harbour were impressive and greatly appreciated.

Tournament Succceses

Dr. Mark Reford, Chief Executive Head of Schools

The event was attended by Chief Executive Head of Schools Dr. Mark Reford, who shared, “The BIBS·C Speech & Debate Tournament held at Park Lane Harbour was a triumph. Seeing hundreds of our students and numerous teachers engaged in this splendid enterprise was inspiring. A particular delight was observing students catching up on homework in their free moments—a testament to the intensity of the BASIS China student experience. It truly warmed my heart.”

The BIBS·C Speech & Debate Tournament held at Park Lane Harbour was a triumph. Seeing hundreds of our students and numerous teachers engaged in this splendid enterprise was inspiring.

While every successful performance has intrinsic value, the BIBS·C Speech & Debate Tournament is, first and foremost, a competition. The weekend was filled with highlights, but specific statistics speak to its success: each participating school had multiple entries advance to elimination rounds, individual championships were won by students from five different campuses, and Chengdu saw its first tournament finalist within a year of operation, despite not having a dedicated speech & debate coach.

Congratulations to all students who finished their qualifications during the regular season – your consistent hard work and exemplary accomplishments demonstrate true excellence.

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