Kingswood Retains the de Lanerolle Trophy, 2015

Kingswood College won the 11th KM de Lanerolle Memorial Debate Tournament conducted by the school’s Past Debaters, a few weeks ago. In the final of the tournament they defeated Hillwood College, amidst a small, homely crowd at Randles’ Hill. Thus, Kingswood defended the title they won last year and recorded their 5th overall win in the series. The debate was evenly matched and was presided by Past Kingswoodian and well respected cinematographer, Mr. Vishnu Vasu.

Kingswood began the tournament on the back foot, receiving a walkover from Good Shepherd Convent. They won against St. Anthony’s in the semis, but undoubtedly their best came in the final against the Hillwood team, who showed much class and promise throughout the tournament. In fact, Hillwood’s semi final against Girls’ High School was one of the strongest debates seen in recent years. It was as close as a debate could get where exchanges were concerned. Girls’ High School eventually won the Third place of the tournament.

The Kingswood Debate team. Copyrights of 'Flashing Youth' and Sajeer Aslam acknowledged.
The Kingswood Debate team.
Copyrights of ‘Flashing Youth’ and Sajeer Aslam acknowledged.

The presence of Hillwood Deputy Principal Ms. Nelum De Alwis (even without a special invite of sorts) was very encouraging and highly appreciated by the home boys. The administration of Kingswood was represented by the Deputy Principal Mr. Herath, though invitations were extended to other parties as well.

From a Kingswood perspective, the team showed appreciable maturity and a ‘peaking’ of working together as a team for two years. This was their third triumph in three tournaments, and their second against Hillwood in two outings.

Hillwood College, with years ahead of them, was probably the “fire-cracker” of the tournament, showing tremendous growth over the past year or so. The team is well balanced and shows much intent and promise for the year to come. Girls’ High School, too, fielded a tested formation, who have been debating together for the past two years or so; and their semi final loss came for no fault of theirs: clearly, they were trumped by the better team on the day, in a debate that could have gone either way.

The best positive of the tournament, however, was the return of a very young St. Anthony’s team, whose debating has been a bit shaky over the past decade or so. This team showed much commitment and flair, and hinted at positives that await us in the next year or two, from the Katugastota school. The semi final berth they had at the tournament was yet SACK’s best performance at the de Lanerolle series.

The Kingswood team: Bihan Viranga De Silva (Cpt), Gowthaman Nallaretnam, Abdul Azeez, Shakir Siddeek.

The Prize List at a glance:

  1. The KM de Lanerolle Trophy and the Spencer Challenge Shield (Overall Winner): Kingswood College.
  2. The PH Nonis Memorial Trophy (Runner Up): Hillwood College.
  3. The Utting Memorial Trophy (Third Place): Girls’ High School.
  4. Best Speaker (VD Paulraj Memorial Prize): Bindya Bandare, Hillwood College.
  5. Best Fourth Speaker: Nushara Amarasekara, Girls’ High School.
  6. Best Speaker of the Old Boys vs Kingswood debate: Bihan Viranga De Silva, Kingswood.

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