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Our faculty at Debate Academy has an unparalleled depth of experience in coaching speech & debate. We attract former World & European Champions; former Directors of Debating and Coaching at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions and former Chief Adjudicators of most major national debating competitions. They have a wealth of experience with coaching school students and provide a positive and challenging atmosphere for students to develop their debating abilities. Many of them are also the coaches of various national teams at the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC). Please see below for a sample of our faculty members for this year, many of whom have coached at Debate Academy for many years!
Leela Koenig – ESU Projects Officer Leela is, among others, responsible for the ESU mentor training programme, Discover Your Voice and Ark Academies, World Schools, and the Great Debates. As former Best Speaker at the European and World Championships, Leela has taught at high school and university level, published articles on debating and developed a variety of teaching materials during her graduate studies in Utrecht and Budapest. For the past 6 years, she has focussed on passing on her passion for debating and public speaking and has done so in more than 25 countries all over the world.
Ben Woolgar - Ben Woolgar is currently training to be a barrister, having studied PPE at Oxford. He was Best Speaker at Worlds in 2012, a Grand Finalist in 2011, and also won Euros that year. He also won World Schools in 2008 and reached the Grand Final again in 2009, and has coached the England Schools Development Squad. He has judged the ESL Finals at Worlds and Euros, and coached in Israel, Korea, Japan and the US. He is the co-editor of the 19th edition of Pros and Cons: A Debater's Handbook (coming out later this year). This will be Ben's 8th year at Debate Academy.
Charlie Morris - Charlie is the current Director of Debating at the University of Sheffield and mentors for the English-Speaking Union. He was the coach of Denmark's inaugural WSDC team for the championships in Cape Town 2012 and judged for England in Antalya 2013. In addition to this, Charlie works as debate consultant for the Amity Education Group in India, delivered lectures for the British Council in Slovenia and has been part of several other international delegations to Rwanda, Germany and Turkey. As a speaker, Charlie won the Edinburgh Open in 2012, was part of the top breaking team at competitions in Dublin, Paris and Budapest and has represented the University of Sheffield at both the World and European Championships.
Alice Coombes-Huntley – Alice is a second year English Literature student at Bristol University and President of Bristol Debating Union. She has been debating since she was 15 and participated in many competitions at both schools and university level. She represented the England World Schools team in Dundee in 2011, where they reached the quarter-finals. Alice represented Bristol at the World University Championships in 2013 and reached the knockout stages as her team was ranked in the top 48. She has won the Warwick IV and Nottingham Open.
Pete Doughton - Pete has been debating for 6 years, having competed at school's competitions such as Durham and Oxford Schools, intervarsity competitions including breaking at competitions such as the Cambridge and Oxford IVs as a speaker and judge, as well as multiple World's and Euros, including finishing in the top 50 speakers in the world and 25 speakers in Europe. He has been coaching for the past four years, having coached the successful Durham Union Society squads for a number of years, as well as a long term involvement in the ESU DYV program and public speaking programs, as well as participating in international programs such as the 2012 Hong Kong tour.
Matt Handley - Matthew is a second year undergraduate studying History at St Hugh's College, Oxford. At school he represented England at the World Schools' Debating Championships, reaching the final and ranking as 5th best speaker; he also won the Durham and Oxford Schools' competitions (topping the speaker tab at the former). Since reaching university, he has reached the final of the Cambridge IV, English Mace and LSE Open. He also reached the semi-finals of the World Universities' Debating Championships 2013, held in Berlin. He has also coached the England Schools' Development Squad.
Andrea Bos - Andrea is currently MA student International Peace and Security at King’s College London and mentor for the English-Speaking Union. At the moment, she is coaching two secondary schools in and around London. Andrea has participated in debating competitions throughout Europe and Southeast Asia. She has been (semi-) finalist in several competitions and won the Southampton Open 2013. She has represented her university at the European and World Championships and was Deputy Chief Adjudicator of the KCL IV 2012 and the Hull Open 2013. Andrea is a former president of the Dutch National Youth Council and for the past 6 years she has been involved in the organisation and facilitation of a wide range of youth participation projects.
Melanie Pope - Melanie is completing her final year at Oxford studying law and will be going on to train as a solicitor. She was a Grand Finalist at the World Schools Debating Championship in 2009 and ranked as the 10th best speaker. At university she has judged at the World Universities Championships for Oxford and broken at several IV’s. She has assisted in coaching the United Arab Emirates world schools team and judged at the World Schools Debating Championships in 2011. This will be her 3rd year as a mentor at Debate Academy.
Keep an eye out for more mentors as they are confirmed!