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21 November 2009

Worlds Council

Dear all

I am writing to announce that I will not be seeking re-election to the Chair of Worlds Council at Vehbi Koc Worlds 2010. My great friend Adiba Shareen will step up from Registrar and will, I'm sure, do a brilliant job as acting Chair.

Since Cork, there have been colossal and wonderful changes in my life, not least the birth of my beautiful daughter Rosie, which have led me to this decision.

Over the last thirteen years, I have been privileged to enjoy Worlds as a debater, adjudicator and DCA and to serve Council as Secretary, Registrar and then Chair. I will always cherish the memories of speaking in a Worlds final. I shall fondly remember the mind-bending pressure of trying to judge every debate, from the brilliant to the bizarre, as if it were the final. I loved the places, the socials, the Masters - in fact, I'm so old and misty-eyed I remember the comedy being funny.

I want to thank all the people I have met on the way, so many of whom remain important in my life. I will continue my evangelism for debate - bringing new people, institutions and countries into the debating community and taking the remarkable skills of debate into the places people work, meet and live. I want to encourage debate for a purpose, through a range of media and enlisting new allies, and I hope I can ask everyone who cares about debate to play a part in some exciting new programmes.

To symbolise this hope that debate should proliferate, I want to make my parting gift the institution of a best newcomer award - a prize given to the debate club of the highest ranking team at an institution new to Worlds in each year. I hope this celebration and recognition of new universities will encourage others and help the winner to continue their participation in future years.

The very best of luck to Koc. Thank you all for the treasured memories.

Best wishes


Neill Harvey-Smith
Chair, World Debate Council

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add my thanks to Neill for all his hard work over recent years. Neill and I first met at Athens Worlds when I was a wing judge from Limerick and he was an unknown debater from Leeds. I judged him in a bin round that was so far down the tab we still joke about it all these years later. Little did we know that 11 years later we would still be in friends.

    As mentioned in his post he had recently become a father for the first time. Having also become a father for the first time this year I know exactly how hard and challenging it is. I haven't been at a debating tournament since the last Worlds. Hopefully I'll get to some more in 2010 and hopefully I'll see Neill at a few late in the year. Certainly one major attraction of an IV is the prospect of an unbroken 6 hours (or more) sleep......

    Best of Luck to Neill, Beth and Rosie.


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