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21 June 2007

Incorporation of WSDC as a charity

The World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC), the premier international speaking competition for high school students, is pleased to announce plans for incorporation as a legal body.

The competition was founded by Christopher Erskine of Australia in 1988 and was originally run by volunteers, with debaters billeted with local families. It has grown into a major worldwide organization with annual tournaments hosted by national debating associations, attended by teams from around 40 countries.

WSDC is registering as a company in the United Kingdom and applying for charitable status. The plans, drawn up by the WSDC Executive Committee, were recently approved by a vote of the World Council.

The costs of incorporation are being met by The English-Speaking Union (ESU), an international educational charity focused on using language to create international understanding, which is the Founder Sponsor of the new company. The costs include employing Eastside Consulting, a London-based consultancy specializing in financial advice for non-profits, to handle the administrative and legal steps involved.

James Probert, Head of Centre for Speech and Debate at the ESU, says: "Debating is the perfect way for articulate young people from different backgrounds to share and exchange their ideas. The World Championships are the foremost international arena for that. They not only help create global understanding but also foster life-long friendships. English-Speaking Unions in several countries have been closely associated with the tournament since its inception, and we're delighted that we're able to be involved in the next stage of its development."

The Executive is seeking interest from alumni of the competition, particularly those with relevant professional experience, to stand for election as Trustees of the charity or to be considered for appointment to its Development Board, to handle the day-to-day running of the company. Anyone interested in expressing interest at this stage should contact Trevor Sather, Vice-Chair of the WSDC Executive, at


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