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Lindsay Cogan

Lindsay Cogan is going to Shanghai in April to compete in the annual World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC). The Balmoral Hall Grade 12 student will be one of 12 Canadian students who have earned a spot in the world championships next year.




The daughter of Allan and Shawna Cogan is no doubt hoping to match the accomplishments of fellow Jewish Winnipeggers Joel Hechter (the first champion), Michael Kives, and Seth Rosenberg, in becoming a world debating champion.
Founded in 1988 by a group of élite private schools (including Winnipeg’s own St. Johns-Ravenscourt), the program is now open to any students in a country which participates in the competition. Originally, about 100 students participated in the competition, which was held in England for the first seven years. Since then, it has alternated between different participating countries. Toronto was the first Canadian location to host the tournament (last year), which Lindsay also attended.
Lindsay Cogan began debating in Grade 7 while attending Gray Academy. She moved to Balmoral Hall for Grade 8. Last year, she reports, she finished second in Manitoba and fifth in Canada. At last year’s WIDPSC, she finished in 18th place - in a field of 106.
“What I like about debating is that you can disagree with people in a civilized way,” Cogan says. “I also appreciate the positive and supportive environment.”
She reports that there are four different categories in the debates. Thy include: Impromptu Speaking, in which students must choose one of three topics and, after a couple of minutes of preparation, speak on the subject for three to five minutes; Persuasive Speaking, in which students select a real problem and present one or more solutions; Interpretive Reading, in which students read a passage from a pre-selected novel or poem(s); and Parliamentary Debating, in which pairs of students debate an impromptu resolution with 30 minutes of preparation and a partner that you have never met before.
Most recently, Lindsay placed third in the International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Competition (IISPSC) in Boston which took place from October 31st - November 3rd. On November 17th, at the public speaking provincials known as Rupert’s Land, which was hosted at her very own Balmoral Hall School, she placed fourth in parliamentary debate, first in persuasive speaking, and first overall.
Next year, she is hoping to pursue Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University, after which she is planning to study law.

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