“Speak to Lead”, a Gavel Tournament hosted by the Gavel club of Stafford International School, one of the leading international schools in Colombo, was held on the 5th, 6th and 12th of October, 2019. This was the second time the club hosted a tournament of this nature.
The Gavel is not just a club in which you learn how to speak publicly. There are fun activities that help you become more confident and become more creative- activities that help you see things from a different points of view. You meet people from other schools and make connections that will help you throughout your life.
One of these opportunities to make friends with people from other schools presented itself when “Speak to Lead”, took place. The Gavel club has been planning this since mid-July and was collecting information regarding the other schools as well as handing out invitations. The entire committee helped. It was one of the best organized events carried out by international schools in Sri Lanka.
They were helped by Dhahamsi Premaratne, Pavan and Oneli Rajavasan.
The tournament took place for three days. There were three categories: Junior, Intermediate and Senior. There were Prepared Speeches (you prepare a speech on any topic at home) as well as Table Topics/Impromptu (you find out what the topic is as soon as your name is announced and you are on the stage).
On the first day, ten speakers each for Table Topics and Prepared Speeches were chosen to compete on the second day in each category. On the second day, five people were chosen. On the third, the winners were announced!
The first day was a success. Students from Asian International School, Wesley College, S. Thomas’ College - Mount Lavinia, Lyceum - Nugegoda, Royal College and for the first time Alexandra International participated in the tournament. Everyday different judges arrived, so speeches were repeated twice. Ms Namalee, Teacher-in-Charge of the Gavel Club stated: “We would like to extend our gratitude to the Media Club, Ayman Ibrahim and Gavelier Hussain Zoeb for doing the video and photographic coverage”.
Prepared Speeches were taken before lunch and Impromptu speeches were taken after. There were two timers, two sergeants at arms, a tally counter and a contest master assigned to each category. There were three judges per room. One room per category. It was overall organized and well done.
Contestants for the third day were chosen. They were given a week to prepare their speeches. Memories were being made. The third day arrived. By this time, all the Gavelliers present had grown close to one another. It was the last day. This time, parents could come and watch their kids speak.
All the contestants in all categories spoke in the Auditorium. The judges were seated in the crowd. Before the results were given, Gaveliers, along with other students of Stafford partook in the ‘entertainment segment’, which was enjoyed and acknowledged by the audience. Then came the results.
Students from Royal College, Wesley College, Lyceum Nugegoda, Asian International School and S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavina were selected for the finals. Out of these schools, the winners were:
These students won awards in their respective categories.
Chief Guest TM Shiham Nawaz was there as well. All contestants had done very well. A gift of appreciation was given to the Coach of the Gavel club of Stafford International School, TM Dinuk Silva, past pupil of SIS. He has been a Toastmaster for 5 years. He is the Area Director for Area M-1, District 82 Toastmasters International.
In addition to this, he is a law student and a City and Guilds Certified Cooperate Trainer. This was followed by a round of applause for their teacher in charge, Miss Namalee Jayasinghe. The video of what happened behind the scenes was shown to those present. “It wasn’t stressful at all. From the beginning, each of us had an important task and we were committed to make this a success and we achieved it", said Ms Namaleee.
She proudly added “so many Gaveliers, especially the new members, took their assigned roles very seriously and executed them perfectly.” The day ended after many photographs were taken. Goodbyes were said and declarations of “I hope you participate next year as well” were shouted from one end of the basketball court to the other.