IDEA Debate Exchange off to a good start

How do you give basic debate training? How do you set up debating societies in countries that do not have an existing debate culture? How do you organise your debate club to get the best out of your members? The participants of the IDEA Debate Exchange grappled with these and other questions in the picturesque surroundings of historic port city Hoorn on Monday the 21st of July.

They had arrived a day earlier to find the city of Hoorn waiting for a thunderstorm, humid, warm and clouded. Still, they went on a tour of the city and learned all about the many monuments in the historic city centre, the origin of its name and unicorned city shield. The more serious business of the event started on Monday with trainings on a diverse set of topics divided in three tracks: training skills, organisational skills, and debate beyond competitions.

Participants in the latter category discussed how to spread debate in high schools and how to develop their curriculum. The workshops on training offered basic skills and coaching skills, while the organisational skills on offer were debate club management and tournament organisation. These sessions were followed by seminars that discussed more specific topics, like the Spanish Debate style, how to judge BP and train judges, and how to use improve exercises for team building and debate training.

The participants are from eighteen European countries and from a diverse set of debate organisations: from fledgling debate clubs, to the future hosts of the European Universities Debating Championships and a number of national debate associations. They bring lots of different experiences and ideas and that shows in the wide variety of workshops and seminars on offer. New ideas for trainings continue to pop up and are integrated in the schedule for the next few days. Have a look at the pictures here.

The IDEA Debate Exchange is made possible by funding from Youth in Action, a youth fund of the European Commission.